Biomedical Research

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Knowledge and perception of Community Pharmacists towards generic medicines in Saudi Arabia

Aim: To evaluate the Saudi Community Pharmacists’ knowledge and perception towards generic medicines.

Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional survey using a self-completed paper-based survey with sample size (450) was conducted among a random sample of community pharmacists in central Saudi Arabia (SA). Statistical analysis: The data were analyzed using IBM-SPSS; version 22.0 both descriptive and inferential statistical analysis were applied.

Results: Responses were obtained from 365 pharmacies (response rate, 81.1%). About 80.0% of the community pharmacists agreed that all products that are approved as generic equivalents can be considered therapeutically equivalent with the innovator medicines. More than 72.2% of respondents believed that a generic medicine must be in same dose form and dose as brand name medicine. Only 51.3% thought that generic medicines have more side effect than brand name medicines. Nearly, two- third (62.5%) trusted that brand name medicines are required to meet higher safety standards than generic medicines.

Conclusion: The Saudi community pharmacists’ have lack of information and/or trust in the generic medicines. An educational program among pharmacists and relevant government agencies should be implemented. Additionally, national generic medicine policies and guidelines are warranted in SA.

Author(s): Syed Wajid, Mohamed N Al-Arifi, Hamad A Al Nomay, Yazeed N Al Mousa, Salmeen D Babelghaith