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Generic and Biosimilar - Medications


Generic, biologic and biosimilar are all terms for non-brand medication (also known as a drug or therapy) that are deemed equivalent (the same as) the brand medication. Generics are made through chemical synthesis, while biologics (biological medications) are made through complex biotechnological process
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Generic Medications

A generic medication is equivalent to a brand-name medication whose patent protections have expired. Generic versions of branded medicines have been around for a long time, as has the process through which generics are introduced to the market: the original brand product has a finite patent life, at the end of which other manufacturers can apply for a license to manufacture and market a generic version.

The term generic technically applies to medications made through a chemical manufacturing process.

Generic medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) make up much of the medicine that many people are prescribed.  Often generic medications are prescribed to help manage MS symptoms, including those used for mood disorders, bladder management, pain and spasticity.

There are only a few FDA-approved generic disease-modifying therapies at this time. However, the MS therapy landscape is continuously evolving. It is likely that more generic disease-modifying therapies will become available to treat MS. 

Biologics and Biosimilar Medications

Biological medications (biologics) are made from human or animal materials (complex biotechnological process) rather than through a chemical manufacturing process / synthesis. The technical term for an equivalent medication for a biologic is biosimilar or follow-on biologic. Many of the medications currently used to manage the MS disease process are considered biologics. The FDA approval process for biosimilar products is different than the process for generic medications.

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