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People often stereotype generic brands as less tasty, of poorer quality, or less effective than their brand name counterparts.
But given that trusted brands demand more of your money,
is there really a difference between brand name and generic food or drugs?
When it comes to food,
while there are many companies dedicated to producing generic brands,
the truth is that many large, brand-name manufacturers often use their excess capacity and expertise
to produce generic label products as well.
In fact, in 2007, the Peter Pan brand of peanut butter was found to be contaminated with salmonella and recalled.
and as a result, Walmart's "Great Value" brand of peanut butter was also taken off the shelves.
Next time you're at the grocery store, try and compare the ingredient list and
nutritional information of a generic item with its brand counterpart.
Even if they aren't identical, which they sometimes are,
it will give you a sense of how similar they can be!
And studies show that, on average, generic brands run 30% cheaper!
Furthermore, many staple food products
like sugar and salts are regulated by the FDA.
And, think about it, table salt, also known as Sodium Chloride,
only contains 2 elements from the periodic table.
How variable could it really be?
Think they taste different? Fancier brand name packaging may play a role.
In one study, university students were given free coffee and asked to rate it.
It turns out that if the cream and sugar were placed in fancy containers on a silver tray vs placed in styrofoam cups
with haphazardly written labels, they would prefer the fancy brew,
despite the coffee being the exact same.
The placebo effect can be quite strong when it comes to your taste preferences.
But when it comes to drugs, things are a little different.
In fact, generic drugs have to be the same as the brand name.
For example, Ibuprofen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug
that treats headaches, fevers, and minor aches and pains.
It's also sold under brand names like Advil and Nurofen.
But at the base of these pills is the exact same thing.
200mg of ibuprofen, the same dosage, safety, strength and intended use.
The generic drugs go through a series of stringent regulatory testing to prove their bioequivalence to the brand name.
The only way in which the pills may differ is between their "filler" ingredients
which may include starch or gelatin, flavouring and different colours.
So while they aren't exactly the same, they are effectively the same.
And studies routinely prove that generic drugs are as effective as the brand name.
In fact, some studies show that individuals are more likely to stay on course with generic drugs because of the lower cost.
Of course, there are some very specific drugs that have a narrow therapeutic index which require certain brands.
In these cases a doctor can help you decide.
And yet, many people still remain skeptical.
In one study, participants were given 'painkillers'
that were actually just blank placebo pills, and administered a small electric shock.
When they were told that the pill cost 10 cents, only 61% of people felt pain relief,
but if they were told that the pill cost $2.50,
a whole 85.4% of participants claimed to feel relief from the pain.
At the end of the day , generic products, whether food, drugs or otherwise,
can be, but aren't always equal to their brand name counterpart.
So save those dollar bills and buy something special.
We actually put together our own taste test to see if anyone could tell the difference between
their favourite brands and the generic counterpart in our new AsapTHOUGHT video.
Use the link in the description to see that video.
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Brand Name vs. Generic

90809 Folder Collection
Jack Lu published on September 1, 2017    Jack Lu translated    Kristi Yang reviewed
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