Generic Drugs FAQ

What is a Generic Drug?

When a new, FDA-approved drug goes on the market, it may have patent or exclusivity protection that enables the manufacturer to sell the drug exclusively for a period of time. When those expire or no longer serve as a barrier to approval, other companies can make it in generic form.

Are Generic Drugs as effective as Brand-Name Drugs?

Yes. A generic drug is the same as a brand-name drug in dosage, safety, strength, quality, the way it works, the way it is taken and the way it should be used. The FDA requires generic drugs have the same high quality, strength, purity and stability as brand-name drugs.

Are Generic Drugs as safe as Brand-Name Drugs?

Yes. The FDA must approve the generic drug before it can be marketed.

Are Generic Drugs that much cheaper than Brand-Name Medications?

Yes. On average, the cost of a generic drug is 80 to 85% lower than the brand-name equivalent.

Is there a generic equivalent for my Brand-Name Drug?

To find out if there is a generic equivalent for your brand-name drug, visit to view a catalog of FDA-approved drug products, as well as drug labeling information.

How does prime therapeutics treat singe-source generics (Only one manufacturer)?

Prime Therapeutics treats single-source generics as a Tier 2 medication, not a generic, so you will have a higher copay.