Knowledge and perceptions of community patients about generic medicines

Rafie Ibrahim, Ross McKinnon, Suong Ngo

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: Patients' knowledge and perceptions about generic medicines are extremely important for promoting generic substitution. Few studies have investigated patients' acceptance or understanding of generic medicines. Aim: To explore knowledge and perceptions of community patients about generic medicines. Method: A self-administered anonymous survey was completed by patients presenting at 1 of 18 community pharmacies in Adelaide, South Australia. The questionnaire comprised items on: demographics (age, gender, ethnicity, education, income, self-rated health status), safety, efficacy, cost and value of generic medicines, and patients' willingness to use these. Results: 503 patients completed the survey - 51% females and 49% males. 60%) of patients were on more than one prescription medication. 67%> of patients rarely asked for a generic medicine when their prescriptions were being filled. Around 47%> of patients believed that they needed more information on the difference between generic and brandname medicines. Around 81%> of patients knew that generic medicines were less expensive than brand-name medicines; and 51%o believed generic medicines offered better value. When asked whether 'they would rather take generic medicines than brand-name medicines' - about 30%> indicated they would, 25%> would not, 40%> were neutral and 5%> did not provide an answer. Younger patients (55 years or less) asked for generic medicines more often than older patients (over 55 years) (p < 0.05). There were no other significant differences. Conclusion: Most patients had some knowledge about generic medicines. However, many were unsure if they preferred generic to brand-name medicines or brand-name to generic medicines.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)283-286
    Number of pages4
    JournalJournal of Pharmacy Practice and Research
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012


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