Drug Discov Ther. 2008;2(3):194-199.
Questionnaire on the awareness of generic drugs among outpatients and medical staff.
Hoshi S, Kimura H
Generic drugs are not as widely used in Japan as they are in the West. The objective of this study was to survey the awareness of generic drugs among outpatients and medical staff and propose methods of promoting the use of generic drugs. Our survey showed that 86.7% of respondents were aware of generic drugs. This is a higher awareness rate than that in a survey of other groups conducted last year. One reason to explain this higher awareness is the recent increase in generic drug advertisements both in newspapers and on television. However, a point of note is that generic drug usage has not increased. Our survey also showed that generic drug awareness was differed widely among age groups, as younger respondents were much more aware of generic drugs than older respondents. Still, about 40% of respondents who were aware of generic drugs did not realize that they were less expensive than name-brand drugs ? including 30% of medical staff. In addition to continuing advertisement of generic drugs in the media, medical doctors and pharmacists should also be encouraged to endorse the use of generic drugs. Furthermore a new system allowing for substitution prescriptions started in April 2008 and consequently pharmacists can now play an important role in promoting the use of generic drugs.