Generic Drugs: Are You Sure the Ones You Take Are Safe and Effective?

There's disturbing evidence that some generics are not equivalent to brand-name drugs or may be unsafe. Here's what you should know.

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In 1984, the U.S. enacted a law that allows generic companies to win FDA approval with limited tests proving their drugs are bioequivalent to the brand-name drug and perform similarly. It may not have exactly the same chemical composition, but it must act the same way in the body and produce the same results. It also must be made in the same format: pill, capsule or liquid. This is why, in theory, generics are considered equivalent to their brand-name counterparts.
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