Generic medicines vs Brand name medicines

Generic medicines vs Brand name medicines. Generic name of drugs, Brand name of drugs, Chemical name of drugs, Trivial name of the drugs, Generic medicine, Brand name medicine these terms are often confusing. All of these terms are drug product-related but they are not similar. Difference between Drug and Medicine. However, this article will elucidate:

  1. Generic name of drugs?
  2. Brand name of drugs?
  3. Generic drug/ Generic medicine?
  4. Brand name drug/ Brand medicine?
  5. Generic medicines vs Brand name medicines.
  6. Chemical name of drugs?
  7. Trivial name of drugs?

Generic name of drugs vs Brand name of Drugs

What is the generic name of drugs?

Generic name is a unique, nonproprietary name of drug adopted by an officially recognized organization within each country. For example, within the United States of America, generic names of drugs adopted by the United States Adopted Names (USAN) Council which is co-sponsored by the United States Pharmacopeial Convention, American Medical Association, and the American Pharmacists Association). The generic name is usually used to identify a unique API (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient). In most of the country, the generic name of a drug is the same but few have a different name. For example Paracetamol (According to British Approved Name (BAN) and Acetaminophen (According to United States Adopted Names (USAN) Council), Glyburide (USAN) and Glibenclamide (BAN).

Examples of Generic names of drugs are Acetaminophen, Metformin, Aspirin, Glyburide, and Ibuprofen etc.

What is the brand name of drugs?

A brand name is a unique, proprietary name of which is given by the pharmaceutical company and approved by officially recognized organizations (such as USFDA) within each country. This name is adopted to trade in a market.

For example, brand name of drugs are Aspir-Low, Aspergum, Bufferin, Empirin,  Ecotrin, Sloprin, and Zorprin for Aspirin.


The above image shown the Generic name of a Drug and Brand name of a Drug

List of Generic name of drugs and Brand Name of Drugs:

Generic name of DrugsBrand Name of Drugs
AspirinAspirin, Aspir-Low, Aspergum, Bufferin, Empirin, Ecotrin, Sloprin, and Zorprin.
AcetaminophenTylenol, Acephen, Infant’s Feverall, Mapap, Nortemp, Ofirmev, and Panadol.
MetforminFortamet, Glucophage, and Glumetza.
TramadolUltram, Zytram.
GlibenclamideDiabeta, Flycron, Daonil, Euglucon, Glidanil, Gliben-J, Gilemal, Glybovin, Glynase, Micronase, Maninil, and Semi-Daonil.
IbuprofenAdvil, Motrin, and Nurofen.

Generic medicines vs Brand name medicines

What is Generic drug/ Generic medicine?

The term “generic drug” or “generic medicine” both have used as the same meaning to understand a pharmaceutical product although there are some differences between drug and medicine.

Generic medicines / Generic Drugs are an off-patent pharmaceutical product that is bioequivalent to its Innovator product, manufactured by a pharmaceutical company in the same dosage form, strength, route of administration, safety, quality, and performance characteristics after expiring the innovator drug patent.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “generic drug” or “generic medicine” is a pharmaceutical product which is:

–interchangeable with an innovator product,

–manufactured without a license from the innovator company, and

–marketed after the patent or other exclusive rights expiration [1].

According to USFDA (United States Food and Drug Administration) defines a generic as:

‘A drug product that is comparable to a brand/ RLD (reference listed drug) product in dosage form, route of administration, strength, quality, performance characteristics, and intended uses [2] .

According to EMA (European Medicines Agency), ‘A generic medicine is a medicine that is developed to be the same as a medicine that has already been authorized (reference medicine). Generic medicine contains the same active substance(s) and it is used at the same dose(s) as the reference medicine. However, the name of the medicine, its appearance (for example color or shape), and its packaging can be different from those of the reference medicine’ [3].

What is brand name drugs/Brand medicine?

Brand medicine / Brand name drug is a pharmaceutical product that is developed and marketed under a patent or registered trademark by a pharmaceutical company. But it is approved after establishing the drug’s safety and effectiveness through animal and clinical (human) studies. Frequently, drugs can be formulated in several ways such as buffered versus non-buffered aspirin, resulting in multiple brand names for the same drug (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient). Also, Brand name drug / brand medicine known as innovator drugs.

Bonus information for you:

What is the Chemical name of drugs?

The chemical name of a drug is the scientific name of the drug which includes information on the drug’s molecular structure. For example, the chemical name of Acetaminophen is N-acetyl-p-aminophenol.

What is the Trivial name of drugs?

Trivial name is a non-systematic, non-formal, common name of drugs, sometimes arising from historical uses. For example, the trivial name of Aspirin is acetylsalicylic acid or ASA).

For details read this: Generic medicines vs Brand name medicines


1. World Health Organization (WHO) Generic drugs. Geneva: WHO; 2015.
2. US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Generic drugs. Silver Spring, MD: FDA; 2008. Approval of generic drugs.
3. European Medicines Agency (EMA) Questions and answers on generic medicines. Canary Wharf: EMA; 2011.