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Regarding bioequivalence, I would expand a bit on what has been said, to add that the "acceptable range" you speak of can refer to a degree of variance in the amount of drug present in the formulation as compared to the branded medicine.

A hypothetical example: Brand name Drug X is precisely 2.0mg, no more, no less. When you buy it, you know exactly what you're getting, guaranteed. Requirements for the generic version of Drug X are less stringent, and the generic is allowed to have 1.8-2.2mg.

For many drugs this degree of variance may not have significant consequence. In other cases it may: warfarin (blood thinner) and anticonvulsants come to mind as being potentially significant differences b/w branded and generics (but not necessarily the case).

Other differences b/w trade/generic can include rates (or amount) of absorption due to differences in "carrier" composition, that is the stuff that forms the physical pill that is a substance other than the active medication.

Hope this helps.
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