Generic drugs may not have a fancy name like brand-name drugs, but they have been proven to be as effective and safe. They may save you money too, depending on the brand-name medicine you may be currently taking.
They look different, but they are made with the same active ingredients
All generics, by law, must have the same active ingredients as their brand-named equivalents. So they work the same way in your body as do brand-name drugs. Their only differences are the colors, flavors, and certain other inactive ingredients.
The FDA puts generic drugs through the wringer for effectiveness and safety
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates generic drugs just as it does brand-name drugs to ensure generics offer the same level of quality, strength, effectiveness, and purity as the brand-name versions. The FDA puts generic drugs through a rigorous review process to make sure that they perform the same way brand-name drugs do. And perform safely, too.
They cost less than brand-name drugs for good reason
Brand-name drug makers spend a lot of money on research, development, advertising and promotion to create and sell their drugs. These are expenses that generics do not have to worry about.
For some of our newer plans, generic drugs are now split into two categories-preferred generics and non-preferred generics. Long-time Premera customers may find that the generic drug they've been taking is now classified as a nonpreferred generic, and costs more. Preferred generics will be the least expensive option.
Pay for the medicine, not the name
As you can see when you compare the prices of some of the most-prescribed brand-name drugs versus generics, you can save money.
|Ambien (insomnia) $335
|Cymbalta (depression) $295
|Lipitor (cholesterol) $178
|Singulair (asthma) $164
|Topomax (seizure) $662
This information is based on January 2014 through December 2014 Premera prescription claims data and reflects average costs for a 30-day supply. The table is for illustrative purposes only and may not represent actual member cost shares.
For more information, sign in and go to MyPharmacyPlus and see how much you can save when you choose a generic drug.
You can save money by buying most generic drugs
This is the case whether you fill a one-time prescription or are taking a brand-name drug for an ongoing condition like high cholesterol or high blood pressure. You can save money with a lower copay, depending on your health plan. Or, if your health plan does not cover certain prescriptions, you can save on the price difference between the brand-name drug and the generic.
The average Premera member can save up to $222 a year by using a generic drug instead of a brand-name drug.
That's a lot of money to keep in your pocket.
Talk with your doctor about generic options if you want a less expensive drug
Your doctor is your best source of information when it comes to your medicine and how to save money on prescription drugs. And there's no better time to speak with him or her about a prescription than when your doctor is writing one for you.
If your prescription is for a brand-name drug, ask your doctor if there is a generic version available that you can use. Your plan may offer preferred and non-preferred generics. If so, check for a preferred generic for even greater savings. There's at least one generic available in most drug classes. So chances are, you'll be able to make the switch.