The generic drug industry covers the marketing and sale of medication containing the same active ingredients (API's) and dosages as brand-name drugs manufactured by the pharmaceutical industry.
Generic drugs are under the same governance as brand-name drugs and must adhere to the same standards. When brand-name drugs come off patent, the market is opened up to generic versions.
Patent protection generally protects a drug's intellectual property rights for about 20 years, but because the patent is effective from the clinical trial stage, the actual time the drug is on the market can be far less, often 10 to14 years.
After a patent protection for the drug expires, a generic drug is usually developed and sold by a competing company to market.
The development and approval of generics is less expensive, allowing them to be sold at a lower price, resulting in pharmaceutical companies coming under fierce pricing pressure.
Often the owner of the branded drug will introduce a generic version before the patent expires to get a head start in the generic market .
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