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Assessment of perception and attitude of postgraduates and clinicians toward generic versus branded medicines at a teaching medical institute

Savithri Desai, Asha P Dass, Sowmya Kaniganti.

Background: Generic prescribing is still a contentious issue among prescribers, and the issues of bioequivalence, quality, and safety remain problem areas. Generic substitution of brand medicines is an accepted practice in many parts of the world, and this is often done for economic reasons.

Aims and Objective: The aim and objective of this study was to assess the attitude of clinicians and postgraduate students regarding generic drugs and branded drugs.

Materials and Methods: The present study was a questionnaire-based, cross-sectional study conducted among clinicians and postgraduate students at NRIMC and SMC, Vijayawada. Assurance of confidentiality (informed consent) was also taken from the participants. After approval and clearance from the Institutional Ethics Committee, 75 participants were included into the study by the investigator. After explaining about the nature and purpose of the study, the study participants were interviewed using structured questionnaire to assess the awareness about the generic drugs and to determine the attitude and practice toward generic drugs. The appropriate instructions about filling questionnaire were given. Analysis was performed and the data were expressed in n (%).

Results: In the present study, 87.7% of the clinicians and postgraduates were aware of generic drugs. Most doctors believed that generics are therapeutically (59.6%) and safety wise (71.9%) equivalent to branded drugs, 89.5% are of the opinion that generics are cheaper than branded ones. Nearly 59.6% of them were aware of Jan Aushadhi pharmacy.

Conclusion: A very good percentage of doctors were aware of generic medicines, their attitude toward safety, efficacy, and cost-effectiveness of generic medicines was good and majority of them said that they prescribe generic drugs. However, there was a meaningful proportion who expressed their concern about the quality and efficacy of generic drugs. These beliefs could hinder larger generic drug use and increase health-care expenses of patients with chronic illness. Proper awareness in physicians about the generic prescription practice may improve the patient compliance by reducing the economic burden to the patients.

Key words: Attitude; Practice; Jan Aushadhi; Generic Drugs; Brand Drugs

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