Questions about generics
1. What are generics?
«Generics are lower-priced follow-on medicines with proven substances»
2. Are generics equally effective and tolerable as the originals?
«In relation to tolerability and effectiveness, generics are exchangeable with the original»
3. Do generics hinder medical research?
«The manufacturers of generics do not in any way hinder research into new substances, medicines or forms of therapy»
4. Where can I get generics?
«Generics are available from the doctor or at the pharmacy»
5. Against which illnesses are generics available?
«There are generics against many diseases»
- Pain, rheumatic disorders, sports injuries
- Cardiovascular diseases, e.g. high blood pressure, arrhythmia, coronary heart disease
- Fat metabolism disorders
- Infections such as cold sores, urinary tract infection, respiratory infection, colds, cough, sore throat etc.
- Skin diseases (acne), fungal infections
- Gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhoea, stomach ulcers
- Mental illness e.g. depression
- Vitamin and mineral deficiency
6. Why are there not generics of all medicines?
«Generics can only be manufactured after the expiry of patent protection»
7. Does the generic product have the same effect as the original?
«Generics contain the same substances as originals»
Generics are made from the same substances as the respective original products. They are also administered in the same manner and quantity: as a tablet, suppository, ointment or injection. Generics are available in the same dosage and are used for the same diseases. Generics often even have advantages compared to the original due to an improvement of the dosage form. Owing to optimisations, a generics tablet can for example be split or swallowed better.
8. Can I switch easily from an original product to a generic product?
«Switching to a generic product is possible in many cases»
9. How much can I save with generics?
«Generics are 30-70% cheaper than the corresponding originals»
If generics were used wherever possible instead of original products, around 350 million francs could be saved every year in the Swiss health sector.