Evaluating pharmacists' views, knowledge, and perception regarding generic medicines in New Zealand

Zaheer Ud Din Babar, Piyush Grover, Joanna Stewart, Michele Hogg, Leanne Short, Hee Gyung Seo, Anne Rew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

54 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Generic medicines are commonly used in New Zealand; however, Pharmaceutical Management Agency of New Zealand (PHARMAC) has indicated a need for better information to the public. Studies on consumers' perceptions suggest that pharmacists play an important role in consumers' choice; hence, " quality use of generic medicines" can be promoted with a better understanding of pharmacists' views, knowledge, and perception. Objectives: (1)To evaluate pharmacists' perceptions, views, and knowledge of and willingness to recommend generic medicines. (2) To explore pharmacists perceptions of the safety, quality, and efficacy of generic medicines. (3) To assess pharmacists' views on current policy with respect to substitution of generic medicines. Methods: A cross-sectional survey using a postal questionnaire was conducted, and questionnaires were sent to 625 randomly selected pharmacists from a list of 1594 pharmacists who had agreed to release their details for research purposes. Results: Three-hundred and sixty pharmacists responded to the questionnaire (a response rate of 58%). Seventy percent of pharmacists stated there is no difference in safety between original brand and generic medicines. However, 65% stated that original brand medicines were of higher quality than their generic counterparts, and half stated that generic medicines and original brand medicines are equally effective. A large number of pharmacists reported concerns regarding brand substitution and offered suggestions, such as the need for advertising campaigns, patient pamphlets, updating prescribers' software, and distinct packaging for generic medicines. It was found that pharmacists' perceptions of generic medicines are primarily driven by PHARMACs policies and their experiences with consumers. Conclusions: About one-third of pharmacists correctly defined the term " generic medicines," suggesting discrepancies in pharmacists' knowledge and perceptions of generic medicines. Concerns were raised regarding: quality, safety, and effectiveness; however, most of the pharmacists acknowledged the economic benefits to the health care system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)294-305
Number of pages12
JournalResearch in Social and Administrative Pharmacy
Volume7
Issue number3
Early online date5 Aug 2010
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Evaluating pharmacists' views, knowledge, and perception regarding generic medicines in New Zealand'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this