Lay views about medicines: The influence of the illness label for the use of generic versus brand

Unidade de Investigação em Psicologia da Saúde, Instituto Piaget, Psychology, Quinta da Arreinela de Cima, Almada 2800-305, Portugal.
Psychology & Health (Impact Factor: 1.95). 03/2010; 25(9):1121-8. DOI: 10.1080/08870440903137170
Source: PubMed


The aim of this cross-sectional study was to investigate how different types of prescriptions using different illness labels may influence lay views about the use of generic or brand medicines. The participants were 882 Portuguese (both sexes) recruited from the general population, who completed a self-administered questionnaire. A vignette methodology was used in which different prescriptions (generic versus brand) were given for the same label (flu, hypertension, asthma and angina pectoris). The dependent variables were for each illness label: (a) the level of agreement with the prescription, (b) beliefs about the efficacy of a medicine and (c) beliefs about the relief of symptoms. There were main effects of the label and the type of prescription upon beliefs about the use of medicines. There were interactions between illness label and type of medicines. Labels which were perceived as more serious were associated with a lower belief in generic medicines. These results raise important questions concerning the need to consider illness perceptions of lay people (including perceived severity) and its relationship with perceptions of treatment for different conditions. Furthermore, these results may have implications for health-related behaviour in general, and in particular for communication between lay people and health professionals, prescribing behaviour, health costs and adherence to treatment.

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    • "Researchers have, however, also reported patient concerns related to generic medicines. These studies range from qualitative assessment of perceptions in specific patient cohorts [59] to general lay/consumer knowledge [60,61], versus knowledge of professionals [62,63]. Many of these studies focus on the influence of relative cheapness on perceptions and use of generic medicines [64,65]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Generic medicines are those where patent protection has expired, and which may be produced by manufacturers other than the innovator company. Use of generic medicines has been increasing in recent years, primarily as a cost saving measure in healthcare provision. Generic medicines are typically 20 to 90% cheaper than originator equivalents. Our objective is to provide a high-level description of what generic medicines are and how they differ, at a regulatory and legislative level, from originator medicines. We describe the current and historical regulation of medicines in the world's two main pharmaceutical markets, in addition to the similarities, as well as the differences, between generics and their originator equivalents including the reasons for the cost differences seen between originator and generic medicines. Ireland is currently poised to introduce generic substitution and reference pricing. This article refers to this situation as an exemplar of a national system on the cusp of significant health policy change, and specifically details Ireland's history with usage of generic medicines and how the proposed changes could affect healthcare provision.
    BMC pharmacology & toxicology 01/2013; 14(1):1. DOI:10.1186/2050-6511-14-1
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    • "A national survey found no differences in beliefs about generic medications by race, and approximately 25% of respondents believed that brand-name drugs were more effective than generics (16). Recent reports on this topic have originated primarily from countries other than the United States and revealed themes similar to some of those we described (17); Australians were more willing to switch to generic medications for minor illnesses but not for serious illnesses (8), and Portuguese respondents believed that generics were not as good as brands for serious illnesses (18). The issues of mistrust we described were not reported in other studies of attitudes toward generic medication. "
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    ABSTRACT: Using generic medications for chronic diseases provides efficacy similar to that of brand-name medication use, but at a lower price, potentially enhancing adherence. However, previous studies show that disadvantaged people, who may particularly benefit from cost savings, have low trust of generics and increased reluctance to switch to generics. The rural South includes areas of high poverty and minority communities whose members are at high risk for poor health outcomes; however, whether such beliefs exist in these communities has not been reported. We sought to obtain qualitative insight into beliefs about generic medication use among African Americans in the rural South. Investigators conducted 4 focus groups with 30 community members from Alabama's Black Belt area. Transcribed discussions were analyzed and common themes identified. Participants were primarily unemployed middle-aged women, one-fourth of whom were uninsured and more than half of whom had a high school education or less. Barriers to generic medication use included perceptions that generics are less potent than brand-name medications, require higher doses, and, therefore, result in more side effects; generics are not "real" medicine; generics are for minor but not serious illnesses; the medical system cannot be trusted; and poor people are forced to "settle" for generics. Although education about generics could rectify misinformation, overcoming views such as mistrust of the medical system and the sense of having to settle for generics because of poverty may be more challenging. Policy makers and providers should consider these perspectives when working to increase generic drug use in these populations.
    Preventing chronic disease 08/2012; 9(8):E142. DOI:10.5888/pcd9.120010 · 2.12 Impact Factor
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