Choosing between generic and original brands

Remember, using a generic medicine is your choice. You may choose a generic brand of medicine or the original brand. Be medicinewise about your choices, by discussing your options with your doctor or pharmacist.


Benefits of having a choice

  • Choosing a generic brand of medicine may cost you less than another brand.
  • It allows you to get your medicine if the pharmacist doesn’t have your usual brand in stock.

Why you may choose not to switch brands

  • Some people may not want to change brands to avoid confusion. It’s best not to keep switching brands, especially if you take several different medicines.
  • For a few people there may be certain risks in changing brands, such as having an allergy or intolerance to an 'excipient' in a brand of medicine. Excipients are inactive ingredients such as fillers, binders or coatings used in the manufacturing process.
  • People with certain conditions may be advised to stick with their original prescribed brand. Your doctor will explain if this is the case.

Keep track with the NPS Medicines List

Recording all the names of your medicines on a Medicines List can help you, your doctor and pharmacist keep track of your medicines and choice of brands. It is a handy way to remember the active ingredient name in your medicines and brand choices. If you help care for someone else you might also find it useful to keep a copy for them.

You can order or print an NPS MedicineWise Medicines List.

Download the free MedicineList+ app for your smartphone.

What else can I do to be medicinewise?

  • Consumers can call 1300 MEDICINE (1300 633 424) for more information about prescription, over-the-counter and complementary medicines.
  • Talk to your pharmacist or doctor about your medicine brand choices.