A generic drug is equivalent to it's brand name counterpart, but is usually much less expensive. A generic drug must have the same active ingredients, route of administration, dosage form, strength, and indications as the original brand product. Generic drugs are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and are deemed to be as safe and effective as the brand name product. Generics cannot be sold until after the drug patent expires on the original brand name product. For example, generic fluoxetine could not be sold until the patent had expired on the brand name equivalent Prozac. A drug manufacturer applies for a patent to protect their drug from being copied and sold by another company and losing profits.
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