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History of Generic Medication

Posted Feb 24th, 2012 by Patient Assistance Team

It used to be that the only kind of medication you could get were those with a brand name. But that all began to change in the 1960s, when the government effort to prove the safety and effectiveness of pharmaceuticals and helped to launch the generic pharmaceutical industry. Then in 1984, with the passage of the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act, also known as the Hatch-Waxman, the generic medication industry really took off. This significant piece of legislature allowed the Food and Drug Administration could approve affordable pharmaceutical medications.

Over the past few decades, the generic medication industry has steadily grown, much in part to the rapidly increasing rate of brand name drugs. In a span of 20 years, the industry has gone from $1 billion in annual revenue to more than $63 billion in revenue. In fact, nearly 60 percent of all medications sold in the United States are generic brands.

Since generic meds must offer the same efficacy and safety as their brand name counterparts, talk to your doctor about switching, especially if you are concerned about the rising costs of your medicines.