Medicines with the same active ingredient may be called differently and vary greatly in price. At the same time, some say that cheap analogues are no worse, while others believe that they should be avoided. Today, we will find out what drug to choose for treating asthma: Ventolin (brand-name drug) or Salbutamol (generic).
Brand or generic?
Modern drugs are divided into original (brand-name) and generic (analog).
- Brand-name drugs (in this case, Ventolin) are developed and researched by the manufacturer, they are protected by a patent and have a brand name. Manufacturers of original products try to recover investments in scientific research and development of production technology of their product. So when entering the market, they make the product expensive. During this period, the formula of the medicine is protected by a patent and there are no analogue drugs on the market. That’s why the price of the original is high enough so that the manufacturer can expect to receive maximum profit.
- Generic (in this case, Salbutamol) is a drug that contains the same active ingredients as the original drug, for which the patent protection has expired. Generic medication is bioequivalent to the original, meets the same production requirements but differs in the composition of excipients. The price of the generics are much cheaper. As a result, the patient gets the opportunity to be treated with time-tested, effective original medicines at a lower price, and therefore the profit of the manufacturing company is reduced.
“Generic” does not mean “fake”. This is a legal product approved for production and use. A generic has proven interchangeability with the original. Interchangeability is determined by three parameters: the degree of similarity with the drug brand in composition (pharmaceutical equivalence), the degree of similarity of its behavior after taking (usually indicators such as speed and degree of absorption into the blood) – bioequivalence; therapeutic action, that is, roughly speaking, whether this drug can cure the patient.
So, under current legislation, a generic may be allowed to be produced and sold if it has been successfully tested. In this study, it is possible to weed out ineffective and low-quality generics. Thanks to the control over their production, it has now been possible to achieve the effectiveness of clone preparations from 70% and higher relative to the original. A lot of generics are not inferior to the effect of brand-name drugs. Therefore, in the modern health care system, there is a whole direction for the development and support of the production of high-quality substitutes for expensive drugs.
Ventolin vs Salbutamol: What’s better?
Based on the abovementioned information, we conclude that it is not entirely correct to find out which drug is better. In fact, we are talking about the same drug containing the same active substance, produced by a similar formula and having the same composition and action. Consequently, there are no significant differences between Ventolin vs Salbutamol. There are purely two variations of a single drug. The only significant difference is a lower price of generic Salbutamol. It does not matter how the drug was produced, the main thing is its effectiveness. That is why many people prefer to buy Salbutamol because it’s more affordable. There is not much point in overpaying for the brand-name Ventolin. It is sufficient to buy a generic.