1. Generic medicines marketed under a brand name are known as branded generics.
Once an innovator medicine’s patent expires, i.e. the innovator medicine goes off patent, other pharmaceutical companies acquire the right to manufacture and market the generic medicine. However, these companies must market it either under its generic name or under a different brand name. So one medicine may have one generic name but is marketed under several brand names.
2. A medicine’s brand name is often chosen so that it can be easily remembered by consumers (brand recall), or to make the generic name easier to say or spell.
For example, the patent for the erectile dysfunction medicine Viagra (sildenafil citrate), which is the innovator brand, expired recently. As a result, other pharmaceutical companies have begun manufacturing and marketing cheaper generic versions of Viagra. These include either generic sildenafil citrate tablets or branded generics. Branded generic versions of the blockbuster anti-impotence pill include Andros, Neo-Up, Tigerfil, Virtus, and Zilden, among others.
3. The brand name of a branded generic is usually printed more prominently on the packaging, with the generic name often in smaller print.
Brand names are capitalized; generic names are not.
4. The color, size, shape, and other physical features of different brands of the same medicine may vary depending on which company manufactures the medicine.
Trademark laws do not allow a generic medicine to look exactly like its brand-name version. A generic medicine must duplicate the active ingredient and it must be equally effective, but the color, shape, and other inactive ingredients may be different. The same rule applies to branded generic medicines.
All medicines have inactive ingredients such as dyes, fillers and preservatives. These ingredients often determine the size, shape and color of the drug.
5. Also called “value-added generics”, branded generics can either be a novel dosage form of an original patented drug or a generic drug with a definite trade name.
Branded generics differ from “commodity generics”, which are pharmaceutical products generally used as an alternative to the innovator product after the expiry of the patent.
The global branded generics market is expected to grow significantly as large number of pharmaceutical products are going to go off patent within the forecast period.
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