Medical Definition of Generic drug
Generic drug: The term "generic" has several meanings as regards drugs:
"Diazepam" is an example of the chemical (generic) name of a sedative. It is marketed by some companies under its generic name and by other companies under brand names such as Valium or Vazepam.
Generic drugs marketed without brand names are generally less expensive than brand-name drugs, even though they are chemically identical to brand-name drugs and meet the same standards of the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) for safety, purity and effectiveness. Generic drugs can be legally produced in the US if a patent has expired, or for drugs which have never been patented. The expiration of a patent removes the monopoly of the patent holder on drug sales licensing.
Last Editorial Review: 5/13/2016
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