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Generic drugs are now familiar objects in clinics, drugstores, and households around the world. We like to think of these tablets, capsules, patches, and ointments as interchangeable with their brand-name counterparts why pay more for the same? And yet they are not quite the same. They differ in price, in place of origin, in color, shape, and size, in the dyes, binders, fillers, and coatings used, and in a host of other ways. Claims of generic equivalence, as physician-historian Jeremy Greene reveals in this gripping narrative, are never based on being identical to the original drug in all respects, but in being the same in all ways that matter.How do we know what parts of a pill really matter? Decisions about which differences are significant and which are trivial in the world of therapeutics are not resolved by simple chemical or biological assays alone.



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