“Branded generics” are just like they sound — generic drugs that have a brand name. These drugs are developed either by a generic drug company or the original manufacturer after the patent expires for the original product. The branded generic name is proprietary to (owned by) the company.
IMS Health defines a branded generic as:
Prescription products that are either novel dosage forms of off-patent products produced by a manufacturer that is not the originator of the molecule, or;
A molecule copy of an off-patent product with a trade name.
The branded generic must be bioequivalent to the original brand product.
Birth control pills are an example of a branded generic drug made by several manufacturers. For example, Aviane is the branded generic name for a formulation of oral contraceptive that contains ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel. Other branded generics are the same as Aviane, but with different proprietary names, and include products such as Orsythia and Vienva.
Why do the manufacturers give birth control these brand names instead of just staying with the generic name? Their goal is to impart brand name recognition and loyalty by consumers, and to ensure that they continue to use the same product time after time. In addition, many generic drug names, like ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel, can be hard for consumers to pronounce and remember.