Lay views about medicines: the influence of the illness label for the use of generic versus brand.
ABSTRACT 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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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:E142. DOI:10.5888/pcd9.120010 · 1.96 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Objective Generic medications are associated with reduced perceived effectiveness, increased perceived adverse effects, and increased rates of nonadherence compared with brand-name medications. This study examined the effect of an apparent medication formulation change on subjective and objective measures of medication effectiveness and medication side effects.Methods Sixty-two university students participated in a study purportedly testing the effectiveness of fast-acting β-blocker medications in reducing preexamination anxiety. All tablets were placebos. In session 1, all participants received a yellow tablet ("Betaprol"). In session 2, participants were randomly allocated to receive Betaprol (no change condition) or a white tablet labeled either as "Novaprol" (branded change condition) or "Generic" (generic change condition). Blood pressure and state anxiety were measured before and after tablet ingestion. Side effects attributed to medication were assessed.ResultsThe no change group showed significantly greater decreases in systolic blood pressure (mean [M] [standard deviation] = -7.72 mm Hg, standard error [SE] = 1.45) than the branded change (M = -2.75 mm Hg, SE = 1.44, p = .02) and generic change (M = -3.26 mm Hg, SE = 1.45, p = .03) groups. The no-change group showed significantly greater decreases in state anxiety (M = -1.53, SE = 0.33) than the branded change (M = -0.50, SE = 0.33, p = .03) and generic change (M = -0.52, SE = 0.33, p = .04) groups. Significantly more side effects were attributed to the medication in the generic change (M = 1.83, SE = 0.23) (but not the branded change) condition when compared with the no change condition (M = 0.87, SE = 0.31, p = .03).Conclusions Medication formulation change, particularly to generic medication, seems to be associated with reduced subjective and objective measures of medication effectiveness and increased side effects.Psychosomatic Medicine 10/2012; DOI:10.1097/PSY.0b013e3182738826 · 4.09 Impact Factor