Many people wonder whether over-the-counter medicines made by store brands are as effective as their brand-name counterparts. The differences in the products include price, packaging, and inactive ingredients.
Active Ingredients: They are the same!
Brand names and store brands contain the exact same active ingredient. They have the same dosage, strength, safety and performance. In fact, brand name manufacturers make about half of all generic drugs.
The FDA regulates all over-the-counter drugs.
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) regulates the approval, manufacture and sale of all over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. Store brands must go through the same FDA approval process as brand names. They must meet the same safety and effectiveness standards. The FDA requires manufacturing facilities to meet their standards regardless of whether they make store brands or brand names. The FDA even regulates labeling so consumers can use these drugs without the intervention of a healthcare provider.
Store brands will save you money!
Store brands cost about half the price of brand names. This is mostly due to lower marketing budgets. In a University of Chicago study, most consumers chose store brands across a variety of healthcare categories. The same study found most doctors and pharmacists rely on store brands themselves.
Next time you find yourself looking in the OTC medicine aisle, grab a store brand and save some money. If you have any confusion or questions, simply ask your pharmacist.