When you buy some medications, you are often given a choice between a branded product and one that is sold under the name of the pharmacy or store you're shopping in. These medications are called private label pharmaceutical products.
What are private label pharmaceuticals, and are there any benefits in buying them over big brand names?
What Are Private Label Pharmaceutical Products?
Private label medications are usually generic drugs that are sold over the counter. So, for example, you may see private labelled medications on sale like painkillers, antacids, stomach complaint medicines and cold, flu and cough remedies.
These medications are manufactured by pharmaceutical companies in bulk. The companies then sell their stock to a range of buyers like pharmacies, supermarkets and other retailers.
Rather than adding their own branding to these products, the manufacturers package and brand each order to the specification of the company that places the order. The medication carries the name and branding of the company that sells it, but the company didn't have anything to do with the manufacturing process.
Why Should You Buy Private Label Pharmaceuticals?
Some consumers go for big brand names when they buy medications. This can be a good thing if you are looking for a specific type of medication to target a specific problem. A lot of research goes into specialist branded pharmacy products, which are often trademarked and patented. These products aren't so easy to replicate.
However, there's no reason why you shouldn't buy a private label brand if you are buying a generic medication that contains standard ingredients in a set formula. The medication you end up with is likely to be exactly the same no matter where you buy it from; only the name on the packet and its branding will be different.
So, for example, if you want a packet of plain paracetamol, then any packet will contain the medication you need with the same contents and dosage instructions. No brand or label adds anything magic to this kind of basic drug.
You may, however, find that buying private label medications saves you money. Large retailers that brand generic products can often sell them more cheaply than smaller pharmaceutical companies. They have more stores to sell in and get economy-of-scale advantages.
So, if you're looking for generic medications, then buying private label products won't leave you at a medical disadvantage. You could also keep a bit more money in your pocket.