Frequently Asked Questions

Generic ARVs offer the best of both options in the fight against AIDS: top quality medication at affordable prices. No corners are cut in the manufacturing of Sonke’s generic ARVs. They are of exactly the same standard as branded ARVs, but at a fraction of the cost, so more South Africans suffering from AIDS can benefit from using our medication.

So, while our generic ARVs may look different from your original ARV medicine, we can guarantee you that they will do exactly the same excellent job in helping your body combat the AIDS virus.

  1. What are generic medicines?

    A generic medicine is a copy of a branded medicine and is the same in dosage, safety, and strength, how it is taken, quality, performance, and intended use. However, although generic medicines are as effective as the branded version, they are usually much cheaper.

  2. Why is there a difference in cost between branded and generic medicines?

    Generic medicines are much cheaper because they do not have to pay the costs of researching, patenting and advertising their medicine; this has all been done by the branded medicine manufacturer. When the patent excluding others from manufacturing a branded medicine has run out, generic medicine manufacturing companies can make the same medicine at a fraction of the cost.

  3. Are generic medicines as safe and effective as branded medicines?

    South Africa regulates all generic medicines under strict guidelines. Generic medicines must complete the same testing as the branded medicines to ensure that it can be used in the same way with the same results as the branded medicines.

  4. Do generic medicines take longer to work in the body?

    No, generic medicines work in the same way and in the same amount of time as branded medicines.

  5. Is the quality level the same?

    The South African Medicines Control Council continuously ensures that the companies test the quality of products currently on the market, and regularly inspects the pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities of generic companies for quality control.

  6. What is the difference between different generic medicines?

    All generic medicines contain the same active ingredients in the same concentration in the same dosage form and their efficacy is verified by strict bioequivalence studies. They may vary in their method of manufacture or in the composition of inactive ingredients such as colourants or binders, which have no therapeutic effects. The only significant difference between generics is the price.

  7. If branded medicines and generics have the same active ingredients, why do they look different?

    The law states that generic medicines must look different to the branded version, so colours, tastes and certain other inactive ingredients, which make no difference to the medication’s effectiveness, may be different.

  8. Why am I hearing so much about generics now?

    With ever-growing populations, governments and medical professionals are realising the importance of promoting generics because of their cost and health benefits, and so we are told so much more about them.

  9. Why are generics important for global health?

    Healthcare costs are rising all over the world. Developed countries have continually rising medical costs, while developing countries are often unable to afford certain medicines. Generics allow many more people access to these important - and often life-saving - medicines by keeping costs down.

  10. How do you know which is right for you?

    If you are unsure, speak to your doctor or pharmacist about Sonke generic ARVs, and always let them know of any changes you may have in your reaction to your medication.

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