Abstract
PRESCRIBING TRENDS AND KNOWLEDGE AND PERCEPTION OF COMMUNITY PHARMACISTS ABOUT GENERIC DRUGS IN UAE

Suleiman I. Sharif*, Raneem J. Chaar, Zahraa Z. Albadrani, Jameel S. Shahwan, Mohamed N. Badreddin, Mohamed A. K. Charbaji

ABSTRACT

Background: Generic prescribing remains low despite the frequent recommendations regarding this issue. Objectives: The objective of this study was to assess the extent of generic prescribing and evaluate the knowledge and perceptions of community pharmacists towards generic medicines in some United Arab Emirates (UAE). Methods: prescriptions issued by consultants from hospitals (145) and by general practitioners (56) from private practice in Sharjah, Ajman and Abu Dhabi-UAE were analyzed using WHO indicators. A cross-sectional survey involving community pharmacists in the three Emirates was undertaken. A 23-item questionnaire was developed, pre-validated and administered. The collected data were analyzed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS, version 17, Chicago, IL, US). Results: Fifty out of 75 pharmacists returned filled in questionnaires producing a response rate of 66.7%. Generic prescribing reached 100% by consultants but only 5.3% by general practitioners. The majority (> 90%) of community pharmacists knew that drugs may be brand or generic, knew the differences between them and that generics can be marketed under different names. Pharmacists were aware of the WHO recommendations regarding prescribing generics (38, 76%), believed that physicians should prescribe more generics (35, 70%) and were convinced that dispensing generics would not change the pharmacy’s revenue (26, 52%). Most community pharmacists favored informing patients about available generics and actually practiced the substitution after consulting the prescribing physician. Conclusion: Rational prescription writing by general practitioners and prescribing generics must be encouraged through legislation and inclusion of relevant topics in medical curriculum and continuing medical education programs.

Keywords: Prescription analysis, consultants, general practitioners, community pharmacists, generic medicines, brand medicines.


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