Brand medications in Canada: What are they & how to buy?
Published By pocketpills:
July 8, 2021
Last Updated On: August 20, 2021
Brand medications in Canada: What are they & how to buy?
Table of Contents
What are brand medications?
Companies can name their medication with a name easy to remember. Pharmaceutical companies usually do this because the name of active ingredients in medications have very technical names and are hard to remember to the majority of us. Branded medicine is the original product that a pharmaceutical company has developed. They are commonly known as original drugs or proprietary drugs.
Manufacturing companies often pursue legal protection to the name given to their newly developed drugs to help their marketing differentiate their products from competitors replicating their formula in the future.
What does brand mean in medicine?
A brand or a company undergoes a tremendous amount of research and work to find a safe and effective medicine.
These new drugs are put under patent protection, which gives sponsors, pharmaceutical manufacturers, the sole right to sell the drug for a certain period of time. If the drug is approved by the regulatory bodies of a country, in our case here in Canada by Health Canada (The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States), it will get a brand as well as a generic name often referring to the active ingredient in the drug formula.
The brand name is the company’s chosen name that makes the drug, which makes it easy for marketing and sales during the introductory period to the public. On the other hand, a generic name is the name of the active ingredient contained in the medicine. This is why medications with a generic name are often referred to as generics. Learn more about generic medications here.
How to buy brand medications with PocketPills?
If you are looking to buy a branded medication online, PocketPills can be your go-to destination.
All you need to do is create a profile and enter the medicine name you need to buy. If it is a prescription medication, you will need a small additional step of uploading your prescription. And that is it. You will get the medicines delivered to your doorstep without any additional cost.
If you don’t have a prescription, there is nothing to worry about. You can talk to our licensed physicians, and they will write a prescription for you.
You can learn more about the process here.
Are brand medications both prescription and over the counter?
Yes, brand drugs can be both prescription and over-the-counter medications. Pharmaceutical companies can produce brand medication that could easily be purchased by people without the need of prescriptions (OTC – over the counter) or requiring valid prescriptions (what are prescription drugs?)
What is the difference between generic and brand-name drugs?
Like brand medicines, “generic” medicines go through testing for strength, quality, potency, and purity before getting approval from Health Canada. They have the same active ingredient and are effective as the original.
However, there are a few differences between brand-name and generic drugs. To begin with, they might not look the same. This includes their packaging as well as the medication itself. Usually pharmaceuticals chose a particular design to differentiate their products from other pharmaceuticals.
The generic version may also have different inactive ingredients such as binders, fillers, and flavors. However, these ingredients do not change how the medication works.
It is common to see discussions raising concerns about switching to generic mediations from the branded.
Trademark laws in countries like Canada and the United States usually do not allow generic drugs to look exactly like brand-name drugs. They just need to have the same active ingredients so that they have the same medicinal effect.
Are branded medicines better than generic?
Not necessarily. However, in some cases, you may need to take only the brand-name product.
This is especially true when there is no generic available. This may also be the case if you do not respond well to the generic drug or develop an allergy to an inactive ingredient.
Besides, physicians do not prefer switching to a generic drug from a brand-name medicine when it has a narrow therapeutic index (NTI). This means that the window between the benefits and harm is small. Your doctor will advise regular tests to make sure you are in the safe window in such cases. Some examples include warfarin, levothyroxine, and digoxin.
What are the disadvantages of generic drugs?
Generic medicines have similar effects as their brand-name counterparts. However, inactive ingredients may differ that may result in:
- Risk of intolerance or sensitivity
- Drug products may look different
What are the advantages of brand medications?
As mentioned before, both the versions of the medicine, brand-name and generic, are equally effective. Although sometimes narrow therapeutic index (NTI) can give brand medications an edge over generics.
Why are brand-name medications more expensive than generics?
There are a few reasons for this.
The pharmaceutical or healthcare brand has to conduct tests to prove the drug is safe and effective. These approval processes are costly and manufacturers have to meet their profit targets to maintain their many research efforts active.
Besides, the brand-name medication is sold just by the company. But several companies sell the generic version, resulting in competitive prices.
Can I ask my doctor to prescribe me only brand medications or generic medications?
Yes, you can ask your physician to prescribe a brand-name product or the generic version whenever available according to your preference.