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Generic medicines

Arega is the exclusive distributor of Teva® generic medicines in Belgium.

Millions of patients around the globe are treated with generic medicines every day. Generic medicines are of high quality, safe and effective, but with only once difference… a more affordable price tag.

When a pharmaceutical company develops particular medicines, only that company may market those medicines during the period the patent is valid. When their patents expires, other pharmaceutical companies may also make and market the medicines. These are generic medicines. A generic medicine has the same composition, quantity and quality of active ingredients and the same pharmaceutical form. In terms of your health, it does not matter whether you use an original or generic medicine.

All pharmaceutical companies marketing medication must demonstrate quality, safety and efficacy. This applies to both generic and original medicines. Both must satisfy the same high requirements. For an original medication, companies submit a dossier containing all toxicological, pharmacological and clinical data. For a generic medicine, this is a simplified dossier but it must prove that the generic medicine is bioequivalent or equivalent to the original. The composition of the active ingredients must be the same, both qualitatively and quantitatively. The generic medicine must have the same pharmaceutical form (e.g. tablet, ointment or spray) and it must provide the same amount of active ingredients in the body as the original medicine.

All pharmaceutical companies must satisfy the same strict requirements before placing a medication on the Belgian market. Belgian and European inspectorates verify all steps in the production process from the ingredients to the finished and packaged medicine. Afterwards, the competent authorities work with the marketing authorisation holder to systematically monitor the risks and side effects of all medications on the market.

An original medicine usually displays the brand name in large letters on the packaging with the name of the active ingredient (molecule name) underneath. In contrast, a generic medicine usually lists the active ingredient (molecule name) in large letters on the packaging followed by a brand or company name.

However, generic medicines are not always 100% identical in appearance even though these have the same high quality and are as safe and effective as the original medicines. For example, they may contain other excipients that sometimes cause differences in taste, colour or appearance. This is important for a limited group of patients and a limited number of substances. For example, when the patient is allergic to a specific excipient. The prescriber and chemist take this into account.

You can always contact your doctor or chemist with your questions about medicines. Always read the package leaflet carefully before taking any medicine.

Generic medicines

Especially different for your budget, certainly not for your health!