Brake pads are some of the fastest wearing cycling components on any bike, needing to be replaced regularly if you ride often.
As with any product, good quality brake pads are likely to last longer than cheaper versions as they are made of a more durable material, which is usually rubber based to provide a good contact with the stopping surface.
Whilst disc brakes are becoming fashionable on road bikes, there will always be a place for the good old rim brake and so brake pads will always be needed.
Be sure to check the size and style of your brakes before buying brake pads, as different manufacturers may have different sizes between the calipers or different fittings.
Different kinds of riding also require different brake pads. Road bikes with standard rim brakes a almost always consistent with the type of pad they require, but mountain biking has different braking systems that may need different pad styles and shapes.