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Generic Drugs

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ensures generic drugs are as safe and effective as their brand name counterparts. That means members can save money, without compromising quality and safety.

What is a generic drug?

Generic drugs are the un-branded form of a prescription medication.

How does the FDA review generic drugs?

The FDA puts all generic drugs through a rigorous, multi-step review and approval process. This ensures generics are identical to their brand name equivalents in the following ways:

  • Have the same active ingredients and same amount of active ingredients
  • Are available in the same strength and dosage form
  • Are taken the same way
  • Are the therapeutic equivalent
  • Meet the same safety profile
  • Perform in the same manner
  • Are as safe and effective

Why do generic drugs cost less?

Generic drugs cost less because their manufacturers don’t have the costs associated with researching, developing and advertising a new drug. The brand name drug manufacturer makes that investment. Therefore, it costs the generic manufacturer less to develop the same drug—and those savings are passed on to patients.

How much can I save with generic drugs?

Research shows that using generic drugs can save between 30 to 80 percent over brand name drugs. But the exact savings depends on the drug and the member’s prescription benefit plan design. Members can find out if a generic is available, and how much they can save by switching from a brand to a generic when they sign in here.