Generic substitution causing confusion

Generics/Research | Posted 25/02/2011 post-comment0 Post your comment

How do customers and pharmacists really experience generic substitution? This is the question asked in a recent research article [1].


Most developed countries are now using generic substitution, especially in the current climate of financial constraints on healthcare budgets. However, often little is known about the impact of this substitution on customers and pharmacists.

A recent study, however, sought to understand this impact by interviewing customers and pharmacists on their generic medicine experience in Australia, Finland and Italy.

The findings of the study showed that customers, with poor awareness of generic prescription medicine, when offered a substitute, were likely to become confused and suspicious.

Pharmacists, as a consequence, felt challenged by having to facilitate generic substitution by educating unaware customers, in isolation from both the prescribing doctor and the government/insurer. They also experienced frustration due to the mistrust and annoyance their customers displayed.

The findings suggest that to increase generic substitution, more communication and promotional materials are needed to improve the understanding of both customers and pharmacists on generic medicines.



  1. Gill L, Helkkula A, Cobelli N, White L. How do customers and pharmacists experience generic substitution? Int J Pharm Health Marketing. 2010;4(4):375-95.
comment icon Comments (0)
Post your comment
Most viewed articles
About GaBI
Home/About GaBI Posted 05/08/2009
EU guidelines for biosimilars
EMA logo 1 V13C15
Home/Guidelines Posted 08/10/2010