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Why do generic pneumonia vaccines cost less than brand-name pneumonia vaccines?

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Quick Answer

Generic drugs and vaccines typically cost less because they do not use the brand name or trade name of the patented pharmaceutical agent, states EmblemHealth. Until the patent of a drug or vaccine expires, only the original manufacturer is allowed to produce it.

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When the patent expires, other manufacturers are permitted to sell the pharmaceutical agent under different names, according to EmblemHealth. The generic drug or vaccine has the same active ingredients, and it is administered in the same dosage as the brand-name product.

Prevnar is the brand name of a bacterial vaccine that safeguards against pneumonia, says eMedicineHealth. It is known generically by pediatricians as pneumococcal 7-valent conjugate vaccine. The sinuses, inner ear, lung, blood and brain are common host sites for pneumococcal bacteria. Meningitis can also occur due to infection. Common side effects of Prevnar include mild inflammation, fatigue and low fever.

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