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Are Generic Formulas Worse Than Brand Names?

Are generic formulas worse than brand names

One of the drawbacks of formula feeding is the price. Unlike the preferred method of breastfeeding, formula can be expensive over time. One way to reduce this financial impact is switching to generic formulas.

In the United States, all formulas are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration to meet basic health and nutrition standards. If you choose to use generic formula, you will not be depriving your baby of any important nutrients. You will definitely be saving money—generic formulas typically cost much less than branded formulas.

The main advantage of generic formulas is their price. Generic formulas cost 40-50 percent less than brand names, which is a significant savings when a 24-ounce can of brand-name formula can cost as much as $30.

What explains the continuing popularity of formula brand names?

  • Reliability. Major brands such as Aptamil, Enfamil and Similar have been on the market for decades, and their manufacturers have a stake in maintaining their quality.
  • Availability. You can count on finding branded formulas in pretty much every drug store in the US; that may not be the case with a generic formula. If your baby is used to drinking a generic formula, she may not be happy with a brand name replacement while you\’re on vacation because you cannot find the generic.
  • Distribution. Major formula makers often give away samples of formulas through doctor’s offices and even through direct mail order. Babies can quickly develop a preference for one formula over another, so it may be difficult to switch from one to another.

The bottom line is, there is no reason not to consider a generic formula if you are concerned about the cost of branded formulas. But ultimately, the decision is up to your baby and their definitive taste test.


  • Mayo Clinic
  • Infant Formula: Your Questions Answered.
    CBS MoneyWatch
  • Similac Recall: Time to Switch to Generic Formula.
    The New York Times
  • Formula Fight: A Generic vs
  • the Giants.

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Get in touch if you have any questions about this article or any aspect of women’s health. We’re here for you.

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