A generic drug is a chemically equivalent copy of an existing brand-name drug that is no longer under patent. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a generic drug must be identical to a brand name in dosage form, safety, strength, route of administration, quality, performance characteristics and intended use. The generic faces the same regulatory approval from the FDA so it is as safe and effective as the brand name. They are typically sold at substantial discounts compared to brand-name drugs.
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