Generics gain ground, yet HCPs still favor branded drugs, finds GlobalData

Generic drugs are often hailed as an effective cost-containment measure for healthcare systems that often have outdated or ineffective financing mechanisms. Despite their increasing usage, a significant proportion of healthcare professionals (HCPs) still tend to favor branded drugs, finds GlobalData’s, a leading data and analytics company.

GlobalData’s survey “Generic Drugs – Physician Perspective” uncovered that if cost was not the primary factor, overall close to 40% of physicians would prescribe branded drugs for their patients. Physicians in Italy (45%), Spain (50%), and Japan (57%) particularly supported brand-name prescriptions.

Urte Jakimaviciute, Senior Director of Market Research at GlobalData, comments: “Physicians’ inclination towards branded drugs may be attributed to concerns regarding the efficacy and quality of generic alternatives. Due to the rigorous R&D process that branded drugs go through, this may create a perception that brand-name drugs are more reliable. In the same survey a high proportion of Italian (42%), Spanish (57%) and Japanese HCPs (42%) confirmed that more bioequivalence studies are needed to assess the suitability of generic drugs.”

The pharmaceutical industry’s landscape is significantly influenced by the strategic promotion of branded drugs to foster patient and physician loyalty, leveraging established reputation of pharmaceutical companies to sway patients and physicians towards branded medications.

Jakimaviciute concludes: “Brand loyalty plays a crucial role in the pharmaceutical industry, as it impacts the generation of sales and revenue, as well as acts as an entry barrier to competitors once patent protection expires. Positive experience with branded drugs tends to shape physicians’ and patients’ preferences, making them more reluctant to start using a new generic alternative.

“To enhance confidence in efficacy and reliability of generic drugs addressing knowledge gap is a must. Patient and physician education can lead to increased utilization and significant cost savings for patients and healthcare systems alike.”

*GlobalData’s survey fielded with 295 healthcare professionals from January 2024 to March 2024.

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