Generic Medicines

Generic drugs are drugs that are chemically equivalent to brand-name medications, but they are sold at a lower price. When a company invents a new drug and files for and receives patent protection of its invention, the company receives the exclusive right to manufacture and sell that drug (assuming it has been approved for public consumption by the Food and Drug Administration [FDA]) for a finite period that varies from country to country, but is usually somewhere between 12 and 20 years. Once that period expires, and assuming the company that invented the drug is not able to extend its patent protection further, other companies may begin legally producing and marketing the drug under its chemical name (the brand name would still have protection under ...

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