Quoted From Group Health On-Line Formulary
“When a company identifies a drug in the laboratory, that company is granted a patent on the drug for a period of 20 years. During the life of the patent, no other manufacturer is allowed to produce or sell the same drug product without the patent-holder’s approval, thus eliminating direct price competition. Patent protection allows the original drug company to recoup the money it spent research and marketing, and to make a profit.
After the patent expires, other pharmaceutical manufacturers may develop, test, and market the same drug. These identical products, called generic, contain exact quantities of the same active ingredient in the same dosage form as the innovator’s product….Use of generics] has significantly reduced total drug expenditures without compromising quality by using generic drugs. This strategy has resulted in savings to you [the patient] in the form of lower rates and prescription prices.”
Guide To Group Health On-Line Formulary:
Brand names are listed only to serve as a guide …. The generic column indicates whether a generic product is available for a drug. Generic drugs are substituted when available and allowed by the prescriber. When a generic is available, the brand medication is considered non-formulary and subject to higher cost shares.