Generic medicines are copies of brand-name medicines. They contain the same active ingredients and must meet the same standards as brand-name medicines. This means they must have the same strength and effects and meet the same safety requirements. Generic medicines sometimes have shapes or colors that are different from brand-name medicines. Although generic options are chemically the same as brand-name medicines, they are much less expensive for patients. Many common brand-name medicines have generic options available, but some do not.