This really a wonderful resource and the FDA did create a GREAT LIST... of course I have to say...
The FDA has a habit of making life difficult for people who wish to comparison shop. This list tells you that your brand name drug MIGHT have a generic equivalent available. (Just because a generic has been approved and the FDA has authorized it to enter the market... does not mean that it is ever available to consumers. More and more generics are artificially withheld just after the brand name drug company pays them millions of dollars. Of course it is simply a whole lot of coincidences. It would not be ethical otherwise.)
The list does not tell you the name of the generic either. Unless you are fairly experienced at shopping for prices on the internet (Even if you always buy locally... knowing the price you should
be paying is quite important.) You need to know the name of the generic medication in order to plug it into the "Search Field" of the pharmacy site... before it can tell you their price for that generic.
I use www.RxList.com
as a fast method of getting the generics name. Near the top of the page is "Find a Drug". Type in the brand name and it will tell you the generic... EVEN IF YOU MISSPELL THE DRUG NAME. That feature is great for me because I make a lot of typos. Be careful if it lists a drug spelled differently from what you typed in. Many drugs have similar names and if RxList must guess because of a spelling error... it might guess wrong.
Another source is http://www.drugbank.ca/
This is a GIANT database maintained by the Univ. of Alberta. Type in the brand name and it will pop up the generic. Click the "Drug Card" button to the left of the generic's name and it will list every brand name it knows that is same as the generic... it will also list brand names that contain the generic along with one or more other drugs.
The problem is you still must be careful. There are errors in the database. If you enter "Zocor" then it will bring up "Simvastatin". If you click "Drug Card" then it will show 20 brand name versions of Simvastatin and one brand name (Inegy) containing Simvastatin + Ezetimibe. The error is that Vytorin is listed as equivalent to Simvastatin... when actually it is the same combo of drugs as Inegy. If you search for "Vytorin" like you did "Zocor" then you get the same results as searching for "Zocor". If you search for "Inegy" like you did "Zocor" then you get the two generics that make up Inegy (and Vytorin).
This is an excellent list of good medication info sites that is kept updated.
list of sites are alphabetical... not in the order of best to worst
Supplements, Herbs, OTC, etc. are covered too.
Multiple sites provide photo databases that allow you to identify what medication is in a certain pill or capsule.
This is a long winded way of saying...