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Not all generic drugs have the same formula

Many people don’t realize there are two types of generic drugs: Authorized Generics and Regular Generics.*

Both Authorized Generics and Regular Generics (also known as ANDA generics) are: (a) approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA); (b) therapeutically equivalent to the corresponding brand-name drug; and (c) as safe and effective as the brand.

There are differences between Authorized Generics and Regular Generics.

* Drugs commonly referred to as generics approved by the FDA under Abbreviated New Drug Applications (ANDAs).

Not actual size. Not actual drugs sold here. Images are for illustrative purposes only.



You get the same formula as the brand name and it is often made by the same manufacturer, at the same facility, as the brand drug.

The result

Consumers receiving an Authorized Generic will receive the same exact drug product as the brand in every bottle, every tablet, every time.



All regular generics have the same active ingredients as the corresponding brand product. However, regular generics may have different inactive ingredients from the brand and from other generic versions of the same product.

The result

In many cases, multiple manufacturers make a generic version of a particular brand-name drug, each using their own formulation of inactive ingredients. Inactive ingredients are fillers and binders that usually do not affect the body. However, in some cases, changes in inactive ingredients may not be well tolerated in certain patients.**

**Reker et al. Science Translational Medicine. 13 Mar 2019: Vol. 11, Issue 483, eaau6753.

Manufacturing Brand Name Authorized Generics Regular Generics

Manufacturing Facility

Most authorized generics are made in the same exact manufacturing facility as the brand-name drugs and to the same specifications as the brand products. Regular generics, on the other hand, are copies of brand drugs made by a different company in a different facility than the manufacturer of the brand-name drug.


Active Ingredients

Inactive Ingredients

Authorized generics and regular generics have the same active ingredients, dosage form, strength, and route of administration. Inactive ingredients do not have a pharmacological effect and are added as fillers or binders, yet they make up over 70% of a tablet on average3 Authorized generics contain the exact same inactive ingredients as the brand-name drug, while regular generics often contain different inactive ingredients. In some cases, multiple manufacturers each produce their own version of a regular generic using different inactive ingredients.

3. Reker et al. Science Translational Medicine. 13 Mar 2019: Vol. 11, Issue 483, eaau6753.
FDA Approval

Approval Process

Authorized generics exist under the same New Drug Application (NDA) as the Brand name drug. Regular generic drugs are approved by the FDA under an "Abbreviated New Drug Application," which requires the manufacturer to demonstrate bioequivalence to the brand product so that it can be substituted for the brand-name medicine that it copies.


Size & Shape

Taste, Smell & Mouthfeel

Regular generics can have a different taste, smell, or feel in the mouth (for example, the coating of the generic may be different from the brand drug). Regular generics can have significant variations in size and shape. Regular generic drug companies may produce different sizes and shapes of the same drug, so one company's generic drug may have a different size and shape compared to another generic company’s drug. Authorized generics are the exact same drug product as the brand. In some cases, there may be differences in markings or color.

Watch & Learn the Difference

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Authorized Generic version.

Find out if an Authorized Generic exists for your drug.


Buy prescription drugs identical* to the brand name, at generic prices

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You have a choice when it comes to prescription medications

Learn more about FDA-approved authorized generics.

Safe, effective, affordable.
And easy to buy.

Select Authorized Generics shipped directly to your door.

  1. Step 1

    Choose your medication.

  2. Step 2

    Send in your prescription.

  3. Step 3

    Shipped to your home.

How It Works

Convenient, reliable, affordable

When you’re paying out-of-pocket, you can save by buying at AuthorizedGenerics.com.# There are no coupons or gimmicks, just great prices on a unique class of generic prescription drugs. Authorized generics are identical* to the brand-name drug—at more affordable prices. Your order is delivered directly to your door and easy to buy online.

Pharmacist recommended

“I recommend authorized generics to my patients because they get the identical brand-name drug at a much lower price.”
– Ron F. RPh

Authorized generics ensure a consistent prescription drug experience

The Authorized Generic Advantage

Because the drugs are identical* to their brand-name counterparts, the experience will also be identical. Authorized generics will have the same texture, taste, smell, and feel as the brand-name drugs.


Most authorized generics are made in the same exact manufacturing facility as the brand-name drugs, by the brand-name companies that held the original patent on the drugs; they are simply marketed as generics under a private label, so the packaging and name are different.

Ask About Authorized Generics

The manufacture and marketing of authorized generics typically increase competition and help lower prices. In many cases, consumers have multiple buying options for their prescription drugs—regular generics,**authorized generics, and brand-name drugs.