Kyriakos Souliotis, Christina Golna, Chara Kani, Sofia Markantonis

Objectives: The economic crisis in Greece has triggered an extensive public debate about the use of generic drugs (generics). Despite their cost-saving potential, generic market penetration remains very low. This raises questions on awareness of, perception on and preference for generics by health-care professionals and patients. This is a descriptive study on the level of knowledge and attitudes towards generics of final year pharmacy school students in Greece.

Methods: An electronic questionnaire was distributed to 173 senior pharmacy school students in three Universities in Greece. Responses were submitted electronically.

Results: The majority of students knew that generics contain the same active ingredient as the originator products and are cheaper. Students were somehow concerned with safety and efficacy of generics. The majority of students agreed that pharmacists should probably recommend the use of generics, and indicated that prescribing and dispensing practices would largely depend on the profit margin. Despite more than half of the students expressing a positive attitude towards generics, they were inadequately educated on their features.

Conclusions: It is critical to improve knowledge of and preference for generics amongst health-care professionals from early on if to build the trust required to increase generic market penetration and achieve measurable savings in pharmaceutical expenditure.

Expert Rev Pharmacoecon Outcomes Res,19(5), 569-574, 2019