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Generic Drugs FAQ

What is a generic drug?

A generic drug is a "copy" of a brand name drug. It is usually made by a different company. Before approving a generic drug, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) checks to be sure that it contains the same active ingredients and works the same as the brand name version.

The generic drug must also come in the same dosage as the brand name drug and meet the same quality standards for safety and effectiveness.

How are generics different from brand name drugs?

Generic drugs may contain different inactive ingredients, such as pill coatings and colors, flavors, and fillers.

Generic drugs may have a different color, shape or size than the brand name drug. But they have the same active ingredients. This is why generics work as well as brand name drugs.

Why does KidzPartners cover generics?

Generic drugs work as well as brand name drugs, but cost less. Healthcare and pharmacy costs are on the rise. When a generic drug is available, our program covers only the generic. We do not cover the brand name drug. This helps hold down the cost of health care for our members, while providing the coverage your children need.

Why do generics cost less?

Some people believe you get what you pay for. But with brand name drugs, much of what you're really paying for is advertising and the drug company’s sales staff. The high cost of brand name drugs also helps drug companies get back money spent on research.

Brand name drugs can be protected by patents for up to 20 years. During that time it’s usually not possible to get a generic version of that brand name drug. But once the patent runs out, companies can make generic versions.

Sometimes, when one drug isn't offered as a generic, there may be another drug that can help you. This other drug may come as a generic. The federal government and many health plans suggest using generics. Ask your doctor to prescribe covered generic drugs, whenever possible.