An “authorized generic” is an exact copy of the brand name version authorized by the original patent holder of the drug product. An authorized generic is a prescription drug that is produced by a brand company under a New Drug Application (NDA) and marketed as a generic under a private label. It is identical to the branded product in appearance (shape, color, markings) and unlike a generic, the authorized generic has exactly the same inactive ingredients.
For example, atorvastatin calcium by Greenstone is an authorized generic and exactly the same drug as the Lipitor brand cholesterol medication by Pfizer. In fact, Greenstone is a subsidiary owned by Pfizer. Usually, costs for authorized generics should be low and similar to other generics at the pharmacy. However, because these drugs are developed through an NDA process by the brand company, they are not always initially more affordable than other true generics and may result in higher copays. If you find that your generic medication is too costly, ask the pharmacist if there is another generic manufacturer with a lower cost, or check with your insurance company.