Pet medications can be very expensive. Today, many of these medications have generic equivalents. But many people wonder are they really the same? The short answer is YES… because they have to be. All drugs that are on the US market today, including all pet medications, must be approved by the FDA.
When a new drug is discovered, the company has 20 years to develop and market it. Normally the drug is patented before clinical trials begin so by the time it is approved by the FDA and gets into the market, the patent sometimes has only 10 or less years remaining. After the patent expires on a pet medication, generic companies can start manufacturing it.
When a generic company wishes to manufacture a pet medication it must prove to the FDA that their version of the pet medication is the same as the brand. The company must prove that the generic’s active ingredients, strength, dosage form, route of administration, and label are the same. In addition, the company must prove their generic pet medication works the same in the body; they are required to prove that it is absorbed, distributed, and that the drug levels in the body are the same. Finally, the FDA requires the generic companies to prove that their pet medications are “manufactured under controlled conditions that assure product quality.”
As you can see, the FDA has very stringent regulations. After all of these tests are completed on the generic pet medication, the FDA says “it firmly believes that generic drug products that have gone through the approval process can be used with the full expectation that consumers will receive the same benefits from generics as they do from brand name equivalents.”
So yes, generic pet medications are the same as the brand pet medications. The only difference you may find between brand and generic is the flavor of the medications. Unlike other products on the US market, cheaper price does not mean cheaper quality. Generic companies can offer lower prices because they don’t have to do all of the research and development that the brand company does. So when you’re shopping for medications, remember generic equivalents offer the same great product but at a price that is more affordable.