Generic drug: The term "generic" has several meanings as regards drugs:
- The chemical name of a drug.
- A term referring to the chemical makeup of a drug rather than to the advertised brand name under which the drug is sold.
- A term referring to any drug marketed under its chemical name without advertising.
Generic drugs marketed without brand names are generally less expensive than brand-name drugs, even though they are chemically identical to brand-name drugs and meet the same standards of the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) for safety, purity and effectiveness. Generic drugs can be legally produced in the US if a patent has expired, or for drugs which have never been patented. The expiration of a patent removes the monopoly of the patent holder on drug sales licensing.