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How to Know If Your Generic Medicines Are Safe

Save money on your prescriptions and ensure safety by following these guidelines.


  • Step 1: Talk to your doctor Ask your doctor whether there is enough difference between the brand-name and generic medication to warrant requesting "No substitution" on the prescription.
  • Step 2: Talk to your pharmacist Ask your pharmacist if a generic substitution has been AB-rated by the FDA. An AB-rated drug has been determined to be bioequivalent to the branded drug.
  • Step 3: Ask your pharmacist about the generic's manufacturer Ask your pharmacist who the manufacturer of the generic medication is, and where it was manufactured.
  • TIP: A generic may not be your least expensive option, especially if you have a drug discount card. Ask your pharmacist or plan administrator if you have questions.
  • Step 4: Report any problems with the medication Talk to your doctor immediately if you experience new side effects or relapses after you begin using a generic substitution.
  • FACT: According to a 2008 report from the AARP, a 1 percent increase in generic drug use could save consumers and the health care system up to $4 billion.

You Will Need

  • Your doctor
  • A prescription
  • Your pharmacist
  • A health plan administrator (optional)

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