Today Show: Name Brand Vs Generic Drugs
As Willie Geist said, we’ve all been faced with the question of whether to buy the store brand item because it’s cheaper, or go with the name brand thinking it’s better quality. Willie asked the experts of home cleaning, food, and medicine, what they would buy.
Dr. Keri Peterson, an internist and contributor for Women’s Health Magazine, talked with Willie first about medicines. According to the FDA, eight out of ten prescriptions filled in the U.S. last year were generic. Dr. Peterson explained that a drug can go generic when its off patent and through 2015, a lot of drugs are going off patents so we will see a rise in generics.
Willie wanted to know if there was a concern in shopping for generics, because the appeal comes from the lower prices. He wanted to know if, by choosing generic, you would lose anything in quality. Dr. Peterson said you wouldn’t miss out on quality, and said they can be 85% lower in price. But the FDA strictly regulates manufacturing of generics. She said they’re so much less expensive because the manufacturers don’t have to pay for marketing or clinical trials.
Dr. Peterson said she thinks it’s important to listen to personal preference, explaining that other than cost, there are certain qualities that doctors take into consideration when picking a generic. Their personal preference can come from cost, delivery systems, size, taste, texture or flavor, scent and consistency, quality, and trust. Some people may know that the brand name drug they’ve been using has worked for them, and don’t trust the generic enough to switch.
The bottom line is, Dr. Peterson is okay with generic drugs.
Today: When Should You Buy Generic Brand Cleaners
Tamron Hall shared that the average family spends more than $600 a year on cleaning products, so she wanted to know when it’s okay to go with the generic brand. She brought in Andrea Woroch, a consumer expert, to go over the topic.
Tamron wanted to know if, other than price, the majority of cleaning products are really that different. Andrea said they’re really not that different from each other, so unless you like the way a particular product smells or if a particular cleaning product makes your life easier, sticking to generic will do just as good of a job as a name brand cleaning product would.
Today Show: Generic Vs Name Brand Bleach & Multi-Purpose Cleaner
She said the store brands still have a great cleaning quality and there really aren’t that many ingredients in them, so you can’t produce that different of a product. Bleach, for example, is a single-ingredient cleaning product. The single ingredient is sodium hypochlorite.
As for a multi-purpose cleaner, Andrea said you can certainly go generic, but she recommended comparing the generic brand to a name brand by looking at the ingredients. For a tile and grout cleaner, you may need to leave the generic brand on the grout a little longer, but it will clean it just as well as a name brand.
Andrea also explained that it’s easy to make your own cleaner using baking soda, vinegar, lemon, and warm water. That’s another great way to save money!
Today: Name Brand Vs. Generic Foods
Lastly, Al Roker talked with James Briscione, the director of culinary development for the Institute of Culinary Education about generic versus name brand foods. He shared that at the institute, they do in fact us generic foods.
Canned vegetable can be a great choice, especially in winter months, according to James. As for choosing generics over name brands, he said it’s best to look at the labels and read the ingredients. Look at the salt and sugar contents, and know that the ingredients are listed in order of quantity in the can.
When it comes to baking ingredients such as sugar, James said generic is fine. “Sugar is sugar,” he said.
As for salt, he said he’s more interested in the type of salt rather than who makes it. Kosher salt, sea salt, and iodized salt are all different. When it comes to vinegar, see what it’s made of. If it’s red wine vinegar, does it actually have red wine in it. He said to also pay attention to the acidity levels listed on the bottles. Just like sugar, when it comes to nuts, “a nut is a nut,” James said.