Physicians still have concerns about the quality, reliability and interchangeability of certain generic medicines

Generics/Research | Posted 11/02/2010 post-comment0

In a study by Dr Mohamed Azmi Hassali et al. of the Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), as published in the January 2010 Journal of Generic Medicines issue (published online 1 September 2009), physicians’ views on generic medicines are reviewed.


The authors write that most countries are facing escalating healthcare expenditures. A recent trend to control these staggering increases in costs is to encourage the use of generic medicines.

Dr Azmi Hassali et al. state that physicians are at the centrepiece of the medication use process, as they are the dominant prescribers in all clinical settings. According to them, it is therefore prudent to examine what they perceive about generic medicines.

The published study attempted to identify and review the literature on physicians’ perceptions and practices on the use of generic medicines. Using subject-related keywords, an extensive literature search was undertaken through indexing services available in the authors’ institution's library. Full text papers written in English language between 1980 and 2008 were retrieved and reviewed. Fourteen studies, majority (n = 5) from the United States were reviewed and included. Most of the studies used quantitative methodology.

They found that generally, physicians were neutral to slightly supportive on the use of generic medications. Most of the studies reviewed highlighted the factors that can influence physicians’ views as policy-related issues, patient-related variables, drug characteristics and physician-related variables.

The authors concluded that – although physicians accept generic substitution under policy and economic pressures – they still have concerns about the overall quality and reliability of generic drugs as well as generic interchange of certain drug categories.


Mohamed Azmi Hassali et al. Physicians’ views on generic medicines: A narrative review. J Generic Med (2010) 7, 30–9. Published Online 1 September 2009.

Source: J Generic Med

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