THE PERCEPTIONS REGARDING GENERIC MEDICINE PRESCRIPTIONS AMONG PHYSICIANS AT TERTIARY CARE HOSPITAL, ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN: A Mixed Methods Study.
INTRODUCTION: In Pakistan, less than 3% of GDP is assigned for healthcare spending and healthcare is generally funded out of patient’s pocket. Recommending generic medicines can be a solution in order to lower the increasing costs of medicines.
OBJECTIVE: To explore knowledge, attitude, and perception of Physicians regarding generic prescription and to determine the barriers faced by them in Islamabad, Pakistan.
METHODS: Mixed methods used for this study. For quantitative part, a random sample of 106 Physicians was taken from a tertiary care hospital, Islamabad. Qualitative part was done by thematic content analysis where four physicians were interviewed.
RESUTLS: Out of 106 respondents, Close to three quarters of respondents (n= 73; 68.9%) agreed that generic medicines are the duplicate of the brand name medicines and they are exchangeable (n= 69; 65.1%). Majority agreed that generic medicines are less expensive (n=78; 73.6%). More than half agreed that brand medicines have similar efficacy (n=62; 58.5%). Almost half agreed that generic medicines produce more side effects than brand medicines (n=49; 46.2%). More than half of respondents supposed that their prescribing choice is predisposed by medical representatives (n=66; 62.3%). 64 (64%) physicians agreed that the local companies in Pakistan are not following good manufacturing practices (GMP) rules as multinationals. In qualitative portion, varying attitudes were found among physicians regarding generic medicine prescriptions.
CONCLUSIONS: There is a need of improving knowledge of physicians and public regarding generic medicines by different modes of communication. There should be strict legislation before proposing and implementing guidelines regarding generic medicines in general practice.
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