Generic

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A term related to medications. The term is used in two non-identical/different contexts:

  1. To identify the active ingredient in any trade-name/branded drug. For example raltegravir is the generic name for Isentress (brand name). Usually your doctor and health-care provider will use the generic name when referring to an HIV ARV drug, unless it is a combination single tablet drug, for example “Atripla” (which contains 3 drugs with the generic names: tenofovir, emtricitabine, and efavirenz).
  2.  The generic name is different from a generic version of a medicine. In order for there to be a generic version of a medicine, the original medicine must have gone off-patent (licence), and another company (besides the original manufacturer) then can make the product. Patients then have the right to select a generic version of drug (which is often much cheaper) or the trade-name/branded version (from the original manufacturer). The two different versions are said to be ‘bioequivalent’, meaning they work as well as each other (efficacy) and have the same or similar safe profile (side effects). Generic versions of some (but not all) HIV drugs are available.