Evaluating community pharmacists' perceptions and practices on generic medicines: A pilot study from Peninsular Malaysia

Zaheer Ud din Babar, Ahmed Awaisu

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26 Citations (Scopus)


The objective of this paper was to study the perception and practices of community pharmacists on generic medicines in relation to dispensing and substitution trends. A cross-sectional survey of randomly selected community pharmacies across West Malaysia was conducted. A total of 40 pharmacies were surveyed in four geographical regions of West Malaysia by using a questionnaire. About 41 per cent of the respondents had 41-60 per cent of their stocks as generics and more than half of the community pharmacists agreed that high profit margin is one of the reasons for their practice of generic substitution. The majority of the pharmacists (62 per cent) did not favour the concept of compulsory generic substitution. When asked about their views on 'government-initiated mass campaign' to the public on generic medicines in lieu of 'more concerted contribution by the pharmacists on educating consumers', only 73 per cent agreed with this point. In conclusion branded drugs were widely available at community pharmacies and are actively dispensed by pharmacists even for chronic diseases. The practice of generic substitution/dispensing was more driven by consumer demand than it was influenced by pharmacists. The use of generic medicines can be enhanced by improving their quality, instituting proper generic medicine-substituting policies as well as by educating consumers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-330
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Generic Medicines
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2008
Externally publishedYes


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