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1/3 of Docs Often Prescribe Brand-Name Drugs Over Generics: Study
Date:1/8/2013

by pharmaceutical firms said they honored patient requests for brand-name drugs, compared with just a third of those who did not receive such perks.

A nearly identical ratio (40 percent versus 31 percent) was observed with respect to the prescribing behavior of doctors who were given free drug samples versus those who were not. A similar gap (40 percent versus 34 percent) was also found when comparing docs who "sometimes or often" met with drug manufacturer reps versus those who did not.

Steven Kayser, of the department of clinical pharmacy in the school of pharmacy at the University of California, San Francisco, argues that drug manufacturers have a huge financial incentive to ensure that generics don't thrive.

"There is still significant influence from industry to use brand name drugs, and coupled with direct-to-consumer advertising, it is not surprising that patients become distrustful of using generic drugs," said Kayser, who is also the author of a journal editorial on the study. "There is a great deal that needs to be accomplished in educating both health professionals and patients about generics drugs in an effort to rein in the increasing cost of medications," he said.

More information

For more on generic medications, visit U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

SOURCES: Eric Campbell, Ph.D., professor, medicine, department of medicine, Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, and Mongan Institute for Health Policy, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston; Steven Kayser, Pharm.D., department of clinical pharmacy, school of pharmacy, University of California, San Francisco; Jan. 7, 2013, JAMA Internal Medicine, online


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