A book that answers many questions about prescription drugs in general, and generic-name drugs in particular. According to a quoted survey, ""nearly three-fourths of all prescription-drug users in the US feel they don't know enough about the drugs they take."" Registered pharmacist Lieberman wants to remedy that and presents a wealth of information, well-organized, clearly written and free of jargon. He begins with a detailed look at some of the complexities and practices of manufacturing, testing and marketing drugs, and the role the Federal Drug Administration plays in approving them. Some readers may find that there's more here than they need or want to know (some of the information is less than reassuring), but this text is an enlightening background for the guide that follows: an alphabetical list of the generic prescription drugs currently available, cross-referenced with brand names. A brief profile of each drug includes usage, side-effects, warnings, FDA-approved manufacturers, brand-name equivalents and, very usefully, whether or not it is wise to choose the generic product. Differences in costs are given in percentages. With this list, patients can discuss their drug preferences with doctors or pharmacists more intelligently. A final section summarizes the generic drug laws for each state, which affect the way doctors write prescriptions and pharmacists fill them, and consequently, the patient's choices. A reliable, unbiased reference, especially helpful for frequent prescription-drug users.