Generic medicines

Topics: Generic drug, Food and Drug Administration, Pharmaceutical industry Pages: 41 (7522 words) Published: June 15, 2014
Factors Affecting Physician’s Behavior to Prescribe Generic Medicines in Pharmaceutical sector in egypt

Mohamed Helal Al-Siufy

Supervised by
Dr. Ramy William

This paper was submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of



Victoria School of Management

March 2014


Researchers argue that generics became widely prescribed by physicians especially since 1990s when price & economic factors became the main focus of both governments and patients as well. Generic drugs sales reported Bn 13.5 LE contributing 45% of total pharmaceutical market in Egypt (IMS Sales YTD 12/2014) while 5 out of top 10 companies in Egypt are local companies (generic-producing firms) reported Bn 4.8 LE (IMS Sales YTD 12/2014). Government & insurance companies exerts pressure on physicians to switch from brand-name to generic drugs especially for common, well-established drugs used in the treatment of common, long standing diseases (eg: common cold, dyslipidemia…etc) due to economic factor in order to save money to enable them to fund new high-tech drugs treating difficult, life-threatening diseases (eg: cancer, AIDS…..etc). US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) implement strict guidelines for license of generic drugs. One of these guideline is that generics must be at least 90% bioequivalent (identical) to brand-name drugs with regards to efficacy & safety (Epilepsia, 49(Suppl. 9):56–62, 2008). Use of generics instead of brand-name drugs in certain diseases (eg: epilepsy) still debatable as per (Frederick Andermann et al. 2007). Another research indicated that patient’s attitude towards generics is improving by time (Mohamed A.A. Hassali 2009). Many factors are contributed in selecting generics over brand-name drugs including price, quality of generics and marketing efforts by pharmaceutical firms as per (Eric Campbell 2013). Researcher claim that other factors rather than price affecting physician’s prescription behavior of generics that includes Ego of physician & patient’s attitude towards generic drugs. Moreover, there are moderating variables that influence physician’s behavior such as disease type & drug type. The researcher claims that pharmaceutical industry in Egypt lacks such information, hence the outcomes of such research could be beneficial in such industry.

As previously mentioned, generic drugs are commonly used since the last two decades mainly due to economic factors. Governments urge physicians to switch from brand-name drugs to generic drugs especially for common diseases in order to save money to be utilized in funding new drugs for serious, life-threatening diseases (eg: cancer, AIDS…..etc). Insurance companies as exerts pressure for switching to generic drugs as well in order to fund the highly expensive drugs (eg: biogenetics, hormones…etc). Patients also pressurize physicians to prescribe cheaper drugs in order to save money funded on other life requirements such as education, nutrition…etc. The main reason for switching to generics seems to be price however there may be another factors affecting prescription behavior of physicians that could be quality of generics chosen, type of diseases, type of drugs, marketing effort of drug makers or even ego of physicians who might refuse generics especially in their private clinics & hospitals. FDA & health authorities implement rigorous conditions for license of generics. One of these parameters is generics should be bioequivalent (identical) for minimum 90% of brand-name drugs.

Lack of local data on factors affecting physicians to prescribe generics over brand-name drugs. The Leading perception of selection of generic over brand-name drugs is due to price factor only. Market share of local generic companies is growing sharply, so researcher believes the selection of generics influenced by...

References: 1- IMS Sales YTD 12/2014
2- Eric Campbell. 1/3 of Docs Often Prescribe Brand-Name Drugs Over Generics: Study. Jan. 7, 2013, JAMA Internal Medicine, online
3- Market Feedback. Interview with Dr.A.Okasha (Professor of Psychiatry, former head of world psychiatry society)
4- Are Brand-Name and Generic Drugs Really the Same? The Prescriber Perspective. Laurie Scudder, DNP, NP, September 18, 2012.
5- Mohamed A.A. Hassali. Consumers’ views on generic medicines: a review of the literature. International Journal of Pharmacy Practice 2009; 17: 79–88
6- Frederick Andermann. Compulsory Generic Switching of Antiepileptic Drugs: High Switchback Rates to Branded Compounds Compared with Other Drug Classes. Epilepsia, 48(3):464–469, 2007
7- Frederick Andermann. Compulsory Generic Switching of Antiepileptic Drugs: High Switchback Rates to Branded Compounds Compared with Other Drug Classes. Epilepsia, 48(3):464–469, 2007
8- Harold Helderman . Generic Substitution for Immunosuppressive Drugs. Dialysis & Transplantation January 2011
9- Barry E. Gidal and yTorbjo¨rn Tomson. Debate: Substitution of generic drugs in epilepsy: Is there cause for concern? Epilepsia, 49(Suppl. 9):56–62, 2008
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