Prescribers’ and dispensers’ views about generic medicines and international non-proprietary name prescribing: a mixed methods study in Portugal

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Publication Details

Author list: Pinho M
Publisher: Emerald
Publication year: 2020
Journal: International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing (1750-6123)
Volume number: 14
Issue number: 2
Start page: 177
End page: 199
Number of pages: 23
ISSN: 1750-6123
Languages: English-Great Britain (EN-GB)


Purpose – This study aims to explore the views of pharmacy professionals (PPs) in Portugal about generic medicines and international non-proprietary name (INN) prescribing and compare them with the views of general practitioners (GPs). Design/methodology/approach – A self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data from a sample of 185 community PPs and 85 GPs. Their perceptions were examined using a five-point Likert scale applied to statements focusing on five main topics of interest: motivation, safety, users’ perceptions and knowledge, advantages and disadvantages of generic medicines and INN prescribing. Daily experiences and suggestions for decreasing health and pharmaceutical expenses were explored through open-ended questions. Nonparametric tests were used to compare attitudes between both groups and to explore associations between the level of agreement and respondents’ demographic characteristics. Content analysis was used to categorize the answers to the open-ended questions. Findings – Generally, GPs expressed more negative opinions toward generics and INN prescribing than PPs. GPs perceived generics as less effective, less safe, inferior in quality, more likely to cause side effects and believed that users do not trust them. Both groups believed that patients remain very confused and illinformed about generics, only adhering to them because of their low cost and expressed concerns about the existence of an excessive number of generic medicines and the lack of patients’ responsibility toward medicines costs. Originality/value – To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this study represents the first attempt to elicit and compare Portuguese GPs and PPs opinions concerning INN prescribing.


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Last updated on 2020-05-06 at 15:36