Generic vs Genuine Treatments

The following brief explanation is aimed at addressing the confusion about generic treatments and the dangers of buying illegal generic treatments online.

A generic treatment is one where the manufacturer's patent has run out. This means that the original manufacturer no longer has exclusivity to production rights and other pharmaceutical companies are allowed to legally produce copies. A good example of a generic treatment is paracetamol.

All of the treatments currently prescribed on PharmaDoctor (eg. Viagra and Cialis, Xenical and Champix) are patent protected, which means generic versions can not legally be produced in the UK, EU or USA.

1) The real reason why illegal generic treatments are cheaper compared with genuine treatments.

  • illegal generics are manufactured using inferior, active ingredients or indeed no active ingredients at all - you have no way of telling.
  • the treatments are manufactured by small factories in China, Russia, Mexico and India without any regulation. Worst-case scenario, you could be buying a product from a backstreet, bootleg operation - again, you have no way of telling.
  • no prescription is required so there are no doctor costs. No pharmacy is involved so there are no pharmacy costs.

2) Why companies that sell illegal generic treatments online try so hard to hide their identity?

  • they are breaking UK law and are not so keen on the authorities tracking them down - Northern Cyprus and various small Carribean Islands are favoured hideouts.
  • knocking out substandard products is not the best strategy for building longstanding customer relationships - they are not entirely sure they want their customers to find them.
  • they can spam their customers with impunity or worst case, sell their customers' details to third parties including their credit card details.

Conclusion: whilst low prices are always tempting, caveat emptor applies and you would be well advised to stay clear of any treatments being offered at suspiciously low prices. You may end up risking your wallet as much as your health.

Even if you decide not to buy from us, you should be aware of the following:

  • check you are dealing with a reputable UK-registered company operating from a UK address with a UK telephone number. At the very minimum, there should be a verifiable UK address (not a registered office). Many companies purporting to be UK-based are actually based offshore.
  • check that the pharmacy that is issuing the medication is registered with the The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) - do not accept anything less than GPhC number allowing you to identify the pharmacy, its premises and the pharmacists who will fulfill your order
  • check that an actual prescription will be written by a real doctor.

To find out more about the dangers of buying generic treatments online, please visit