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What are generic medicines?

Generic medicines aresimply another version of a branded medicine. They are medicines which contain the same medicinal ingredient; for example, Paracetamol is the generic name of the brand medicine Panadol® 

Generic medicines are equally as good and safe

The Government ensures that generic medicines are made to the same standard as branded medicines, so they are as safe and effective and of the same high quality. In fact, many of the companies that make branded products also make generic medicines.

Generics contain the same medicinal ingredient and are identical in strength to the branded medicine, so they treat your condition just the same.

Your GP will always make the best choice of treatment for you. 

Why do generic medicines cost less?

The original manufacturer of a new branded medicine has a number of years to recover the costs of developing a new medicine. After that, any licensed manufacturer can make the same product. As more than one company can make the medicine it tends to be a lower cost.

Will I notice any difference? 

There may be some difference in colour, shape or size. This however is only in the outward appearance and does not affect the medicine or the way it works. 

If you would like to discuss any information contained in this leaflet or have any other query please ask your pharmacist.

How am I helping? 

Using generic medicines will save the Health Service money. Every pound saved is used in other ways to benefit you, your family and other patients.

It is the policy of the Department of Health,Social Services and Public Safety, Northern Ireland, that doctors prescribe generic medicines where they are available.

For further information contact:

Department of Health, social Services and Public Safety, Castle Buildings,Stormont,BT4 3SQ

Tel: 02890523279 Textphone: 02890527668