When a new medicine is brought to market, it is granted patent protection. This ensures that the manufacturer can recover the costs invested in research and development. Once patent protection expires, other manufacturers can start producing a generic version.
Generics: cheaper alternatives
Generics are identical to original medication in terms of the active ingredient, dosage and form of administration – but cheaper. You should always ask whether there is a generic alternative to any medication suggested to you. Biosimilars – copycat versions of biological medicines (biologics) – are also cheaper.
It’s worth opting for the generic version even in the case of medicines where we cover the costs, as you will have a lower retention fee. The FOPH maintains a list entitled "Neue Generikaliste mit differenziertem Selbstbehalt bei Originalen und Generika" (New list of generic medicines with differentiated retention fees for original preparations and generic medicines), where you can find all the details.
Help reduce healthcare costs
Ask your doctor or pharmacist for a low-cost alternative. Compare prices.