Q. Does every brand-name drug have a generic counterpart?
No. Brand-name drugs are generally given patent protection for 20 years from the date of submission of the patent. This provides protection for the innovator who laid out the initial costs (including research, development and marketing expenses) to develop the new drug. However, when the patent expires, other drug companies can introduce competitive generic versions, but only after they have been thoroughly tested by the manufacturer and approved by the FDA.