Authors: Isabela Rizzardi dos Santos and Gabrielle Gimenes Lima (FEBRAF, Brazil).
The generic medicine contains the same active ingredient, dose, pharmaceutical form, and route of administration, as the reference medicine, also showing equivalent efficacy and safety, thus being interchangeable. Safe drug exchange, or interchangeability, is based on therapeutic equivalence tests that include in vitro comparison, pharmaceutical equivalence, and in vivo studies with bioequivalence studies. Subsequently, these studies are presented to the National Surveillance. 
The low price of the generic is not associated with the quality of the product, but with the values acquired from the process, existing in the reference drug and not in the generic one, such as developing research and clinical research. The cost of the generic drug should be less than 35% of the reference value, for the contribution to increase access to quality, safe and effective drugs. 
Medicines are consumer goods and are subject to competitive dynamics and the interests that guide them. But they are also basic and essential inputs to health care, demanding an important role and responsibility from the public authorities. With that, medicines are differentials in national policies, directly related to public health. 
With the change in the direction of the economy in the 1990s, Latin American countries adopted strategies focused on neoliberal economic policies. The basic market conditions in the productive sectors and also in the pharmaceutical sector have changed. A possible answer to the problem of the population access to medicines, Argentina and Brazil have implemented generic medicine policies. In Brazil, in addition to the reduction in prices, it was found that generic products started to occupy an important share of the market. The national pharmaceutical industry, both in Argentina and in Brazil, due to different institutional variables, has repositioned itself and today leads the sales market in its countries. 
The progress of access to medicines is associated with market regulation, that is, with the improvement of socioeconomic conditions, of the financing capacity, of the relations between social and economic policy. This scenario provides the population with quality access to health products, which may increase their life expectancy.
1: Agência Nacional de Vigilância Nacional – ANVISA. Medicamentos Genéricos. Brasil. Disponível em: <http://antigo.anvisa.gov.br/genericos#::text=O%20medicamento%20gen%C3%A9rico%20%C3%A9%20aquele,de%20refer%C3%AAncia%20e%20podendo%2C%20com >
2: Evangelina Viviana Martich. Dissertação de mestrado: A política de medicamentos genéricos e o mercado farmacêutico na Argentina e no Brasil. FIOCRUZ. Rio de Janeiro – RJ. Maio, 2013. Disponível em: <https://www.arca.fiocruz.br/bitstream/icict/24540/1/478.pdf>