Factors affecting the opinions of family physicians regarding generic drugs – a questionnaire based study
Keywords:drug therapy, generic drugs, drug substitution, health care surveys, general practice/family medicine
A range of factors are believed to exert a negative influence on opinions of physicians about generic drugs.The aim of this study was to survey the opinions of primary care doctors on generics, and determine the factors which may affect them. A questionnaire comprising thirty eight questions was distributed among primary care doctors working in seventy out-patient clinics of the Lodzkie province, Poland, during the period of January 1, 2010 – December 31, 2010. A total of170 of 183 participants completed the survey (average age 48.5; 70.0% women): a 92.9%response rate. While 38.8% of physicians claimed that generics were worse than brand name drugs, 54.1% considered them to be better. However, 36.5% of the doctors did not choose generics for their own use. Two key opinions were identified among the responses concerning the effectiveness of generic drugs: use of generic drugs by the physician (p<0.001), and their opinion that pharmacists do inform patients about generic drugs (p<0.05). Although existing evidence confirms that generic and brand name drugs are equally effective, many physicians doubt this, which prevents them from being used as cost effective drug therapy. In order to increase healthcare savings through the use of generics, these factors should be addressed: for example, convincing a physician to adopt generics for personal use may be an efficient way to support more cost effective treatment of his patients.
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