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[e-drug] Evaluating community pharmacists' perceptions and practices on generic medicines in Malaysia

E-DRUG: Evaluating community pharmacists' perceptions and practices on generic 
medicines: A pilot study from Peninsular Malaysia
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Journal of Generic Medicines advance online publication 20 May 2008; doi: 
10.1057/jgm.2008.10
Evaluating community pharmacists' perceptions and practices on generic 
medicines: A pilot study from Peninsular Malaysia
Zaheer-Ud din Babar1 and Ahmed Awaisu2

www.palgrave-journals.com/jgm/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/jgm200810a.html
 
Correspondence: Zaheer-Ud-Din Babar, School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medical and 
Health Sciences, The University of Auckland, Private Mail Bag 92019 Grafton, 
Auckland, 1142, New Zealand. Tel: +64 9 3737599/88436; Fax: +64 9 3677192; 
E-mail: horizon_pharm@yahoo.com

Abstract
The objective of this paper was to study the perception and practices of 
community pharmacists on generic medicines in relation to dispensing and 
substitution trends. A cross-sectional survey of randomly selected community 
pharmacies across West Malaysia was conducted. A total of 40 pharmacies were 
surveyed in four geographical regions of West Malaysia by using a 
questionnaire. About 41 per cent of the respondents had 41-60 per cent of their 
stocks as generics and more than half of the community pharmacists agreed that 
high profit margin is one of the reasons for their practice of generic 
substitution. The majority of the pharmacists (62 per cent) did not favour the 
concept of compulsory generic substitution. When asked about their views on 
'government-initiated mass campaign' to the public on generic medicines in lieu 
of 'more concerted contribution by the pharmacists on educating consumers', 
only 73 per cent agreed with this point. In conclusion, branded drugs were 
widely available at community pharmacies and are actively dispensed by 
pharmacists even for chronic diseases. The practice of generic 
substitution/dispensing was more driven by consumer demand than it was 
influenced by pharmacists. The use of generic medicines can be enhanced by 
improving their quality, instituting proper generic medicine-substituting 
policies as well as by educating consumers.

Keywords: 
generic medicines, substitution, dispensing, perception, community pharmacist, 
Malaysia
 
[If anybody is interested, I will be glad to send a copy of the full paper. Do 
not reply to e-drug, send an e-mail to horizon_pharm@yahoo.com]
 
Best regards
 
Zaheer

Dr Zaheer-Ud-Din Babar B.Pharm.,MPharm(Clin Pharm).,PhD
Lecturer in Pharmacy Practice
School of Pharmacy
Faculty of Medical & Health Sciences
The University of Auckland
Private Mail Bag 92019, Auckland
New Zealand
Ph: +64 9 3737599 Ext 88436
Fax: +64 9 3677192
(Mobile) + 64 211241013


      

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