Generic Drug Law and Legal Definition

A generic drug means a non-brand name drug that is produced and distributed without patent protection. It is generally sold using its chemical name. A generic drug has the same active ingredient, strength, and dosage form that is found in the brand-name drug.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), generic drugs are equivalent to brand name drugs with respect to pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties. A brand name drug, when it loses its patent protection, will regain its generic version. Generic drugs are cheaper than brand-name drugs.