Facts you need to know about generic medication

Your Questions Answered: Teva’s Generic Medicines

We are committed to creating quality, affordable medicines for Canadians and patients around the world.

Teva has the largest supply chain of any pharmaceutical company and our network of about 40,000 employees and 55 global manufacturing sites work around the clock to make sure our medicines reach patients and healthcare systems across six continents. In addition, many prescription medications made by other companies include active pharmaceutical ingredients produced by Teva.

We are committed to creating quality, affordable medicines for more people in more places around the world. Our scientists are currently developing hundreds of generic medicines that aim to increase access to treatments that can improve patients’ health and save healthcare providers billions. Teva continues to strive for a healthier world.

What are generic medicines?

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A generic medicine is a medicine that is a bioequivalent substitute to a brand name drug.

Generic medicines contain the same active ingredients as the original brand products, and are available in the same strengths and dosage forms as the originals.

A generic drug must work the same way in your body as the brand name drug.

There are a few cases where the generic medicine may also have another name besides the active ingredient.

Why are generic drug names different from the original drug names?

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All brand-name drugs have a generic name. The generic name often appears next to the brand name and is the active ingredient(s) in the medication.

The generic name of a medicine is based on the name of its active ingredient(s), whereas the names given to brand-name drugs are intended for marketing purposes.

Ask your pharmacist if you have any questions.

Are Teva generic drugs as safe as brand-name drugs?

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A generic drug is bioequivalent to the brand-name innovative drug and meets the same quality standards.

The active ingredient, the content, the dosage form and the usage of a generic drug are similar to those of an innovative drug.

Regulatory authorities review the safety of both brand and generic prescription drugs before they are approved for use in a country, to ensure that the generic medicine works in the same way as its brand-name version.  They also continue to monitor the safety of both brand and generic prescription medications after approval.

What does bioequivalence mean?

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Bioequivalence demonstrates a similar profile of behavior of two products in the human body, in terms of the rate and extent of absorption of the active pharmaceutical ingredient from the gastrointestinal (GI) tract to the blood stream.

A bioequivalence study is a regulatory requirement and is performed for all brand and generic medicines to ensure their efficiency and safety.

Why are generic drugs cheaper?

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Generic companies can offer their products to the public at considerably lower prices than brand-name drugs because generic manufacturers do not:

  • Develop a medicine from scratch
  • Perform lengthy, costly toxicological and clinical studies that brand manufacturers have already done
  • Conduct expensive advertising and marketing programs

Often, approvals will be granted to multiple generic drug companies to manufacture generic equivalents which increase the competition in the market, thus driving the cost down.

Of course, we still must show the regulatory authorities that our product performs the same as the brand-name medicine.

Ask your pharmacist if you have any questions.

Does every drug have a generic equivalent?

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As long as a medicine is protected by patents, a generic alternative can't be launched.

Sometimes a generic version is approved and available in a specific country or countries, while unavailable in others.

However, with the growing emphasis on generics, multiple generic versions of a brand-name drug are often developed around the time it becomes “off patent.”

Nonetheless, in some instances, even after a patent has expired there is no generic alternative. This may happen due to cost considerations, in cases of drugs designed for a limited use or requiring complex manufacturing processes.

Will a generic medicine look the same as its brand-name equivalent?

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Sometimes the generic version of a drug may have a different colour or shape from the innovative original. That’s because the appearance of a brand-name drug may be proprietary to the original manufacturer, so the generic product might be required to be a different shape or colour. But the active or key ingredients must be the same.

Are all generic drug manufacturers the same?

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No two pharmaceutical companies are exactly the same.

Differences between companies can be seen in their manufacturing, research and development processes. Companies can be large or small in size, have many or very few years of experience, and offer a large or small variety of medications.  All drug manufacturers must follow the same standards and regulations.

Teva is the largest manufacturer of generic drugs in the world. Since 1901, Teva has been committed to meeting and often exceeding each country’s regulatory and quality standards, and providing affordable and quality medications. Some patients feel more comfortable choosing a generic by a company they trust.

Here in Canada, we have provided affordable healthcare solutions to Canadians for over 50 years, building trust one prescription at a time with currently more than 179,000 prescriptions filled each day with our products.

Some patients feel more comfortable choosing a generic by a company they trust. At Teva, we’ve built a culture of uncompromising quality for manufacturing medicines.

Where are Teva products made?

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As the world’s leading generic manufacturer, Teva has a global network of manufacturing and distribution facilities. Health Canada, FDA, EMA and other major regulatory authorities inspect each of our facilities to ensure our products meet the same standards of good manufacturing practices as brand-name medications.

Canadian-made quality

  • 3 fully integrated Canadian Centres of Excellence” for pharmaceutical manufacturing
  • 75% of bulk doses sold in Canada are manufactured here
  • 96% of what we make at Stouffville is for the Canadian market
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