Generic vs. Brand Medications: What’s the Difference?

When it comes to prescription medications, you have choices

When it comes to prescription medications, you have choices. Whether you’re looking to have your prescriptions delivered to your home, picking up at the pharmacy, looking for 30 or 60 day supplies or choosing between brand name and generic medications, VFW member benefit provider Inside Rx is here to help.

The cost-efficient choice

Tipped over pill bottle with maroon and white pills spilling outWhile the Inside Rx prescription savings card can be used at over 60,000 retail pharmacy locations in the U.S. and Puerto Rico for a number of different brand name and generic medications, many patients find it the most cost-efficient to get 30-day supplies of generic medications. What’s the difference between brand name and generic? Essentially, they do the same thing and contain the same active ingredients. A generic medicine is the same as a brand-name medicine in dosage, safety, effectiveness, strength, stability, and quality, as well as in the way it is taken and the way it should be used. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) conducts detailed reviews to ensure generic medications meet each of these standards. You may notice that a generic pill looks different from its brand name counterpart, that’s because trademark laws in the U.S. restrict identical drug production.

The benefit

Generic drugs have the same job as brand name medications, but the best part is they usually cost significantly less! Why? Brand name medications are subject to thorough FDA review and testing and their patents prevent duplicating the drug for a certain period of time. Once the patents and exclusivity agreements expire, it’s fair game for generic alternatives to hit the market (most often at a discounted rate). Because the brand name company spends their money on research and development of the drug, the generic versions do not have to pay for additional research and therefore can offer the drug at a cheaper price!

Is generic right for you?

It’s important to discuss with your doctor whether a generic drug is an option for you. You can find out if your medication has a generic version available by browsing the FDA catalog. Some common generic medications include:

Brand Generic
Zoloft sertraline
Proair HFA albuterol
Lipitor atorvastatin
Zithromax azithromycin

Whatever you choose, we’re here to help

Medication is a personal choice that’s ultimately up to you and your doctor. Whether you choose brand or generic medications, Inside Rx has got you covered. We offer savings on most generic versions of brand medications and you can find pricing information as well as drug information on both, using our medication pricing tool. Unsure if there is a generic version of your brand name medication? You can always ask your doctor or pharmacist. But we also provide generic examples on the drug information page of each drug on our site.

Download your unique prescription savings card and see if you can save up to 80% on both brand and generic medications using Inside Rx. For more information on how Inside Rx works, visit

This article was originally posted on the Inside Rx Blog here