NHS Norfolk is working with GPs to encourage them to prescribe generic medicines. Many patients question why the colour and shape of their drugs change weekly or monthly and we have detailed below the answers to these commonly asked questions.
Most medicines have two names - the unbranded name (generic name) and the brand name that the company who first produced it may use.
The generic name is part of the scientific name of the drug and will always be the same whoever makes it, but different companies will give the same drug different brand names.
Generic drugs look different because the manufacturer may choose different colours, tastes or shapes but this makes no difference at all to the active ingredient.
Generic medicines are generally cheaper than those with a brand name but are just as safe and effective. By prescribing a drug generically, your doctor is helping save money for the NHS, which can then be spent on other services.