A study reported on by BMC (Bio Med Central) states there are people who believe generic medicines are of less quality than brand name medicines. In this study, it was found that people with less education were typically the ones with less trust in generic medicines.
In a study conducted by the Center for Disease Control, people stated they didn’t want to buy generic brands, even when they couldn’t afford the brand name medicines. They thought generic brands meant they would have to increase their dosage or have more side effects.
Many people may think that if it cost more, and brand names always cost more, that the medicine must be better quality. This is not true, however. One reason for this misconception may be a simple lack of knowledge.
Education Influences Trust
The National Public Radio reported on a study of millions of shopping trips where medicines were purchased by people who are well educated in medicine ingredients (doctors and nurses) and those who are not.
They found a high percentage of medical professionals bought generic brand medicines. In speaking with those who paid more for brand name medicines, many excuses were given for their choice, from they did not want to look cheap to they didn’t have the time to look at the differences.
Many of your patients have questions about the differences between generic medicines and brand name medicines. Knowing the differences, if any, between generic and brand name drugs will help you explain them to your patients and help them feel they can trust the medicines you prescribe.
Belief Influences Trust
The placebo effect has been proven in numerous studies that if people believe something will work, then it will work. Patient’s perceptions of whether a medicine will work is key. If your patients believe brand name medicines work better than generics, this perception will influence how they feel after taking the medicine.
Perception leads to trust. Patients who think brand names work better than generic will trust brand names more.
Advertising Influences Trust
Brand name companies can afford brand name advertising. Meaning, they spend big bucks to influence patients to buy their products. Generic brand companies do not spend any money on advertising or trying to influence patients.
The more a patient sees something, the more they trust it. Big companies know this and carefully place advertisements to be seen by the right people at the right time.
Performance Influences Trust
Even though a patient could experience the exact same side effects taking a brand name version of a medicine, those who took a generic brand are less likely to buy that brand again. How a drug performs for the patient will influence trust.
Your Trust Influences Patient Trust
There are some reports suggesting there are doctors who still do not trust generic brand medicines. In fact, a report in the Annals of Pharmacotherapy suggest 50 percent of doctors in the research felt generic brands were less effective than brand name medicines.
Your perception will influence that of your patients.
If you trust a drug, it will show. And there is no reason for you to not trust generic drugs, which are processed, packaged and distributed in the same way as brand name medicines.
Terminology Used by Physician Influenced Trust
When you talk to your patient about their medications, you may only refer to them by their brand name, which is often easier to pronounce than the generic name. When you do this, your patient is expecting to take the medicine that you have been calling by the brand name.
When presented with a generic option, it doesn’t sound anything like its brand name. This makes your patient feel uncomfortable. It makes them lack trust in the generic version.
Packaging Influences Trust
The safest, most trustworthy packaging for medication is what is known as prepackaging.
Prepackaged medication, especially generic, does not focus on being the flashiest or most noticeable product. The focus is on quality of the medication, not outward appeal. Prepackaging companies take the original form of the medicine from the manufacturer and make it safer, not prettier.
Prepackaged medications provide the safest form of distribution. Many doctors and pharmacies are choosing prepackaged medications due to the precise labeling and ease of use. Those who are not using prepackaged medications may notice differences between generic and name brand packaging.
Prepackaged medication allows your patient to trust the medicine being dispensed.
The Truth About Brand Vs. Generic
Generic medicines are simply a copy ofthe brand name version.Brand name medicines are required to go through multiple and repeat studies on both animals and humans. This gets very expensive for the manufacturing companies. Therefore, the cost of a brand name medicine is much higher than that of a generic brand.
On top of this, the brand name manufacturers spend millions of dollars in production.
Generic brand medicines are not required to be involved in repeat studies or testing. This allows them to keep costs low.
Price differences between generic and brand name drugs can be massive. Brand names can range from 25 to 75 percent higher than generic brands. Therefore, insurance companies often require patients to use generic versions of a drug.
The labeling, however, must be the same. This includes warning labels. However, only brand name medicines are required to update their warning labels each time a new risk or side effect is discovered.
Strength is the amount of the active ingredient in each dose of the medicine. Federal law requires both generic and brand name medicines to be comparable in strength. Meaning, per dose, they have the same amount of active ingredients.
Generic brands have saved the American Health Care System billions of dollars. However, the amount of generic drugs sold still only make up just over 20 million of the total spending.
This verifies just how much patients trust brand names more than generic. As a physician, you can help patients understand the difference and learn to trust generic as well as brand name medicines.