Campaign launched to raise awareness of generic medicines
on 17/10/2012 11:51:00
It is estimated by the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association that each person spends, on average, €697 a year on medicines.
Paul Whyte, Pharmacist, Cooney's Pharmacy, Athlone, said: "Being able to offer generic alternatives to patients is a real step forward. My job is to treat the whole patient, often the whole family, and these days, when times are so tough for so many people, cost savings are a real benefit.
"The good news is that it doesn't mean compromising on quality or safety."
Mr Whyte said it was important that people understand what "generic" means.
He said: "Generic medicines offer the same quality and safety and can provide better value for consumers.
When a medicine is first developed it is awarded a legal protection, known as a "patent" and for a period of time only that version can be sold. When the patent expires, a generic alternative becomes available which, due to a less expensive manufacturing process, offers better value to consumers without compromising on quality and safety.
Generic medicines may look different or appear in different packaging to branded versions but they are tested to the same regulatory and quality standards.
For more on generic medicines read this article from EUActiv and this one from the Texas State Board of Pharmacy.
Community pharmacists can help patients make an informed choice by providing advice and guidance on suitable medicines for patients and their families.
Further information is available on Just Ask or ask your pharmacist for advice in-store.