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Patients' attitudes towards generic drug substitution in Japan


  • Kobayashi, Eriko
  • Karigome, Hiroshi
  • Sakurada, Tomoya
  • Satoh, Nobunori
  • Ueda, Shiro


Objective The aim of this study was to evaluate the understanding and attitude of Japanese patients towards generic drug substitutions.Method The subjects were male and female patients, who purchased their prescription medications at a pharmacy. A questionnaire was created to assess their attitudes towards generic drugs.Results Of 1215 respondents, 68.4% knew the term "generic drugs." The majority of them had the correct understanding only on the following two points: generic drugs are less expensive than the brand name drugs (86.0%) and generic drugs contain the same active ingredients as brand name drugs (71.1%). However, their understanding was poor in other aspects of generic substitution: the availability and accessibility of generic drugs, etc. Only the experience of a previous generic drug substitution was significantly associated with the increased willingness for generic substitution (ORÂ =Â 2.93, CI 1.93-4.44). The main reasons for accepting generic substitutions were recommendations by physicians (48.6%) and by pharmacists (33.1%).Conclusion The public awareness program on generic drugs should be expanded to include more detailed information so that patients obtain the correct understanding of generic substitution. It is critical that physicians and pharmacists have the proper understanding of generic drug substitution and provide the correct information to patients.

Suggested Citation

  • Kobayashi, Eriko & Karigome, Hiroshi & Sakurada, Tomoya & Satoh, Nobunori & Ueda, Shiro, 2011. "Patients' attitudes towards generic drug substitution in Japan," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 60-65, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:hepoli:v:99:y:2011:i:1:p:60-65

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Chong, Chee Ping & Hassali, Mohamed Azmi & Bahari, Mohd Baidi & Shafie, Asrul Akmal, 2010. "Evaluating community pharmacists' perceptions of future generic substitution policy implementation: A national survey from Malaysia," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 68-75, January.
    2. Valles, Joan-Antoni & Barreiro, Maica & Cereza, Gloria & Ferro, Juan-Jose & Martinez, Maria-Jose & Escriba, Josep-Maria & Iglesias, Begona & Cucurull, Esther & Barcelo, Estrella AU -, 2003. "A prospective multicenter study of the effect of patient education on acceptability of generic prescribing in general practice," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 269-275, September.
    3. Heikkila, Reeta & Mantyselka, Pekka & Hartikainen-Herranen, Kaisa & Ahonen, Riitta, 2007. "Customers' and physicians' opinions of and experiences with generic substitution during the first year in Finland," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 82(3), pages 366-374, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Suzanne Dunne & Bill Shannon & Colum Dunne & Walter Cullen, 2014. "Patient Perceptions of Generic Medicines: A Mixed-Methods Study," The Patient: Patient-Centered Outcomes Research, Springer;Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, vol. 7(2), pages 177-185, June.
    2. Takizawa, Osamu & Urushihara, Hisashi & Tanaka, Shiro & Kawakami, Koji, 2015. "Price difference as a predictor of the selection between brand name and generic statins in Japan," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 119(5), pages 612-619.
    3. Zerbini, Cristina & Luceri, Beatrice & Vergura, Donata Tania, 2017. "Leveraging consumer’s behaviour to promote generic drugs in Italy," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 121(4), pages 397-406.
    4. Skaltsas, Leonora N. & Vasileiou, Konstantinos Z., 2015. "Patients’ perceptions of generic drugs in Greece," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 119(11), pages 1406-1414.
    5. Mihajlo B, Jakovljevic & Nakazono, S & Ogura, S, 2014. "Contemporary generic market in Japan – key conditions to successful evolution," CIS Discussion paper series 613, Center for Intergenerational Studies, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.


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