Is There a Difference Between Generic vs. Brand Name Supplements and Drugs?


When you are about to purchase supplements, you might be wondering whether brands like Thorne Research from Supplement First are just the same as generic supplements. As we all know, brand names are pricier compared to generic counterparts, with people believing that they are more effective or of higher quality.

But is that really true?

Let’s take a look at the truth behind the generic vs brand name supplement debate.

Brand Name

Brand name supplements are usually seen as the “original” version, and in some way, there is a bit of truth to that thought. Brand name supplements are the first of their kind, with companies having to first go through research, development, and even clinical trials before marketing them to the public.

From the time of the brand name supplement’s inception, the formula is kept secret, which then ends after the registered patent expires. Afterward, other manufacturers can file and create a generic version, with the only difference being 3.5% in absorption.

The process of creating brand-name supplements is a reason why they are pricier than the generic versions. The research, manufacturing, and clinical trials are costly!


–          Brand name supplements are typically one of the first versions of the supplement available and have gone through rigorous testing to ensure their efficiency

–          While rare, there is a small chance our bodies absorb brand-name supplements better

–          The recall and loyalty of brand name supplements are higher because companies spend on branding and marketing


–          Brand name supplements from stores like Supplement First are pricier than generic versions


When you think of “generic,” you probably think that these supplements don’t equate to brand-name counterparts in terms of effectivity. Some people even think generic is fake! But this is definitely not the case.

Generic supplements work similarly to brand name counterparts as they would have a similar quality, strength, intended use, suggested dosage, effects, side effects, and route of administration.

There are many brand-name supplements with generic counterparts available already. Unfortunately, there are misconceptions about generic supplements, likely because of the lower price tag.

However, the low price is due to how generic supplement manufacturers are typically not the ones who develop, lab-test and market the products. Moreover, they didn’t have to pay any patent fees for it, equating to cheaper costs for manufacturing and selling the supplements to the public.


–          Generic supplements are almost the exact same copies of brand name counterparts.

–          Generic supplements are cheaper than brand-name counterparts.

–          Since many companies have more access to the supplement’s ingredient list, it’s more widely available.

–          Since generic supplements are the same copies of brand name counterparts, they are also made with the same standards.


–          Occasionally, some people might not do well with generic supplements and they may absorb them differently because of how the pills are made or coated.

Wrappng It Up

We hope this has helped you decide whether to invest in the brand name or generic supplements.

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