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Brand Name Drug

What is a brand name drug?

A brand name drug is a medication sold by a drug company under a specific trademark or name that is patent protected. The patent prevents other companies from producing and selling the drug. However, once the patent expires, other companies can produce similar drugs, which is why there are brand name and generic drugs.

For example, Lopressor is the brand name for a hypertension drug, while Metoprolol is a generic version.

Brand name drugs are typically more expensive than generic drugs, with cash prices and insurance copays that are often higher. This is often because brand name drugs have higher initial costs to develop, market, and sell the brand new drug.

Some examples of brand name drugs, with their active ingredient in parenthesis, include:

  • Lipitor (atorvastatin)
  • Amoxil (amoxicillin)
  • Synthroid (levothyroxine)
  • Glucophage (metformin)
  • Prilosec (omeprazole)

Are brand name drugs better than generic drugs?

Both brand name and generic drugs must comply with the strict guidelines of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States, and because of this, the generic drug will have the same quality active ingredient as a brand name drug.

While the active ingredient is the same, inactive ingredients differ, which may be why one version of the drug is a better fit for a user.