Medical fact: it's possible to save up to 90% on the price of many familiar medicines available over the counter at supermarkets and high-street pharmacies by buying cheaper, generic equivalents.
Many medicines have two names: the brand name given by the drug company that manufactures it, and the scientific or generic name for the active ingredient it contains. Nurofen, for example, is one brand of a commonly used medicine whose generic name is ibuprofen - the active ingredient.
Plain or generic medicines may differ from the familiar brand in taste or colour, but they work in the same way because they have the same active ingredient.
"It's rather like being able to buy a branded washing powder and a supermarket's own-brand equivalent," states the NHS website, nhs.uk. "It does the same job, but the supermarket's own washing powder is much cheaper.
"Generic medicines are usually cheaper because there are fewer research and development costs, but they contain the same active ingredient as the branded products. Generic medicines [also have] the same stringent safety and quality requirements demanded of the branded products."
So it's always worth asking your pharmacist if there is a cheaper, generic version of the branded medicine you're buying.
Here are some of the potential savings:http://image.guardian.co.uk/sys-files/Guardian/documents/2008/06/17/Howtosavemoney1.jpg.pdf