Generic Livestock Medicines Meet & Exceed Name-Brands


Livestock producers are always dealing with unexpected disease, illness and other conditions that put their animals at risk. The wide-spread availability and use of generic antibiotics can play a vital role in helping veterinarians and producers treat a wide range of expected and unexpected livestock health issues and get animals back to healthy, productive status quickly.

Dr. Megan Schnur, technical services veterinarian with Norbrook North America, explains the role generic antibiotics and other products play in helping producers manage diseases and other illnesses. “Generic pharmaceuticals provide an excellent option in that their bio equivalent to the pioneer, safe, effective, and economical treatment solutions to return our livestock back to a high health status. What that means is that the FDA requires a generic pharmaceutical to be identical to the pioneer or name brand, and not only the active ingredient and concentration, but also the dosage, and indications and administration, and also one of the requirements is that it performs pharmacodynamic the same in the animal, resulting in the same treatment outcome.”

Schnur says generic antibiotics are as safe and effective as their name-brand counterparts. “Generic manufacturers are actually held to the same exact rigorous standards by the FDA during manufacturing. But, say we want to make a product even better, and in that case when a manufacturer wants to make a change or an improvement to an existing product, the FDA requires that we perform testing in live animals. Norbrook not only specializes in post patent products, but Norbrook is in fact the Pioneer manufacturer for some well-known, very good products that have been around for many years. Penicillin and oxytetracycline are probably among the most well-known and recognized products for which Norbrook is the pioneer, or the name brand company. These products are widely trusted and have been used for decades because they are very safe and effective.”

Because of the strict manufacturing requirements, she says producers can be confident in using generic products. “Nearly everyone I know has had personal experience with using human generic pharmaceuticals, and by using these products they’ve experienced the same efficacy and safety at a significant cost savings to the name brand product, whether that be an over the counter, or a drug prescribed by their doctor. And so that same level of trust and confidence that’s placed in a human generic can be confidently placed in livestock generic pharmaceuticals.”

Schnur says generics offer many costs savings over name-brand products, along with improvements. “Some of the more unique features that some of our key products offer would include improved viscosity and enhanced syringeability. So, Norfenicol would be the most well-known example for performing better and colder temperatures than the pioneer product. Other features would include bottling and a plastic bottle, rather than a glass bottle for the obvious reasons of reduced bottle breakage and product wastage. And another feature would be a shorter meat withdrawal time, and hanger bottles for added ease and convenience to the producer. So, Norbrook is always finding ways to innovate, drive innovation in the industry and make the pioneer product better, and I think producers widely recognized these benefits that our products bring from a value standpoint and cost savings.”

In 2020, COVID-19 brought a closer look at expenses for producers. Schnur says Norbrook can help. “The biggest costs in animal agriculture besides feed costs and labor are animal health expenses. And so, those are the places producers and veterinarians have been looking for high quality effective alternatives to help manage these costs. And Norbrook continues to be a reliable manufacturer to provide essential products to producers at a cost savings over the brand name, ultimately, helping maintain the profitability and sustainability of that operation.

We’re proud to be able to offer some of the most competitive prices in the industry year-round, but producers can and should always keep an eye out for various marketing promotions we do throughout the year. Just this year, new members of NCBA received a coupon for a free two and a half liter of our Eprizero pour on for cattle, which is our eprinomectin product that’s best known for a zero-day meat and milk withdraw. And so, these are just some examples to show Norbrook’s commitment to our products and our customers.”

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