PERCEPTION OF QUALIFIED MEDICAL PRACTITIONERS TOWARDS PRESCRIBING IN INTERNATIONAL NON-PROPRIETARY (GENERIC) NAMES – AN OBSERVATIONAL, CROSS SECTIONAL STUDY AT A TERTIARY CARE HOSPITAL IN INDIA
Objectives: The study was conducted to assess the perception and practice of medical practitioners, working in tertiary care and teaching institutions in Eastern India, regarding the use of generic (non proprietary) names while prescribing. The study tried to assess their perception towards using drugs from the National List of Essential Medicine (NLEM), as well.
Methods: An observational, cross-sectional study was conducted. Medical practitioners attached to the institution were considered for the study and those who gave voluntarily consent were included. 100 participants were interviewed based on convenient random sampling. They were provided with the study questionnaire and the responses were analyzed using Microsoft Excel 2007 using charts and tables.
Results: Majority (43/100) did not feel that generic medicines are as effective as reputed brands, while 32 felt they are of equally effective. 45% (45/99) felt generics to be equally safe as and 24% (24/99) did not feel so. 86% considered generics to be cheaper. 56% did not prefer to substitute with generics in all conditions. About 73% had doubts regarding the quality of production of generics. The decision to use generics was mostly influenced by lower cost (73%) and by administrative pressure (53%). 58% felt that the NLEM does not contain all the medicines they would require in practice. 94% agreed to prescribe more in generics if the quality may be ensured.
Conclusion: Awareness about the NLEM and about generics needs to be improved. Authorities need to ensure the quality of generics and assure the prescribers about it.
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