According to a study published Monday in the medical journal Archives of Internal Medicine, changes in pill color significantly increase the odds that a patient will fail to take their medication as prescribed by their doctor.
First, the basics
Generic drugs are approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s Office of Generic Drugs. These off-brand alternatives must be “bioequivalent” to the brand-name version, meaning they must be identical in terms of dosage form, strength, route of administration, quality, intended use, and clinical efficacy. But the FDA does not require that the two versions look alike.
Generics are big business worldwide. In America, they account for more than 70% of prescriptions dispensed, but only 16% of spending. Generic prescriptions are expected to increase even more, as top-selling brand-name medications reach the end of their market – and profit – exclusivity and go “off patent.” In the United States, drug patents offer 20 years of protection for the pharmaceutical company, but they are applied for before clinical trials begin, so the effective life of a drug patent tends to be somewhere around 7-12 years.
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Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education