Authorized Generics: What You Should Know

Greenstone compensated FOF to write this “sponsored post.” Regardless, we recommend only products or services that we believe will be helpful for our readers. All insights and expressed opinions are our own. —Geri Brin

Caregiving seems to be part of most women’s DNA, so it’s unsurprising that in the United States, we make 80 percent of healthcare decisions for our families, according to Department of Labor statistics.1 We’re making choices not just for our own health but for the well-being of our partners, our parents, and our children. Some of our most important healthcare decisions are the types of prescription medications we’re taking.

“Gone are the days when we filled the prescriptions our doctors wrote for us, no questions asked. Today, we can easily research every medication to understand how it may benefit us and our loved ones,” said 62-year-old Ginny Baxter, who picks up medication prescribed to her and her husband on a regular basis given their health conditions.

Ginny is pleased when a generic option is available for her or her husband, she explained. “I know they cost less than the leading brand name medications, work the same way, and provide the same clinical benefits,” Ginny said. But she likely would be surprised to learn about a third, lesser-known class of drugs, called “Authorized Generics.”  

SO, WHAT’S AN AUTHORIZED GENERIC?

➠  An Authorized Generic is produced by the manufacturer that created the original brand name drug. It’s also typically made in the same manufacturing facility as the original brand. Generally, the main difference between an Authorized Generic and the brand name is that the Authorized Generic doesn’t have the brand name on the label.2

  Authorized Generics are the same size and shape as the branded versions.2

  Authorized Generics may have different markings on the medications and, in limited cases, may be a different color than the branded versions.2

  Authorized Generics are available at generic pricing. Bear in mind, however, that a number of factors will determine what you’ll pay for your medicine, including insurance co-pays, pharmacy charges, and savings cards. You should contact your insurer or pharmacy for specific price information.

AND, WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN AUTHORIZED GENERIC AND OTHER GENERICS?

All generic medicines must meet FDA standards for approval and are considered by the FDA to be as safe and effective as the branded drugs. They also meet the same standards of quality and manufacturing as the brand name drug. However, they’re developed and produced by a company other than the original brand name manufacturer.3

Generics also may have minor differences from brand name drugs, including their inactive ingredients, shape, size, or color. Although inactive ingredients usually are harmless substances that don’t affect the body, certain patients may not tolerate them well.3-4

Now you understand the important facts about Authorized Generics and how they differ from the generics you’ve known about for years. It’s time then to visit the FDA website to learn if they’re available for the medications you or your loved ones are taking.

IF YOU’RE LEARNING ABOUT AUTHORIZED GENERICS, YOU MAY HEAR ABOUT GREENSTONE

Greenstone, a US-based company owned by Pfizer Inc., has long been providing Authorized Generic versions of original brand name drugs, and sells over 70 of Pfizer’s leading brand name drugs as Authorized Generics. This currently includes six of the 25 most-prescribed medicines in the United States, across a broad spectrum of diseases and conditions. Greenstone also provides Authorized Generics from other manufacturers, in addition to several generics. The company receives its product materials from a global network of suppliers, and its sites in North America and Europe manufacture 100% of Greenstone’s Authorized Generics. You can find the list of its generics here.

If an Authorized Generic is available for your medication but your pharmacy does not carry it, ask the pharmacist if he or she can order it. Greenstone also offers a Pharmacy Locator Service at 1-855-222-8588 to personally help you find one of its medications at a pharmacy near you.

“So, the next time one of your doctors writes a prescription, make sure to check whether an Authorized Generic is available. And talk to your pharmacist about Authorized Generic versions of your prescribed medications,” said Geri Brin, founder of FabOverFifty.com

AND EXPLORE YOUR PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION OPTIONS

References:
S. Department of Labor. Fact Sheet – General Facts on Women and Job Based Health. https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/EBSA/about-ebsa/our-activities/resource-center/fact-sheets/women-and-job-based-health.pdf. Accessed April 28, 2020.
US Food and Drug Administration. FDA list of authorized generic drugs.
US Food and Drug Administration. Generic drugs: Questions and Answers. https://www.fda.gov/drugs/questions-answers/generic-drugs-questions-answers. Accessed February 18, 2020.
Smith Marsh DE. Bioequivalence and Interchangeability of Generic Drugs. Merck Manual. https://www.merckmanuals.com/home/drugs/brand-name-and-generic-drugs/bioequivalence-and-interchangeability-of-generic-drugs. Accessed February 18, 2020.
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