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Knowledge, attitudes, and practices of community pharmacists on generic medicines in Qatar

Ahmed Awaisu, , Mohamed Izham Mohamed Ibrahim, Maguy El-Hajj, Huda Hazi, Nada Khudair, Raja Barazi
Published in Springer
Volume: 36
Pages: 394 - 404

Background The practice of generic medicines prescribing, dispensing and substitution in developing countries has been controversial among healthcare professionals, particularly due to issues on quality, safety and efficacy. These controversies are as a result of inter-country differences in policies and laws as well as individualized knowledge and attitudes of pharmacists pertaining to generic medicines. Objective This study primarily aims to assess the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of community pharmacists in Qatar towards generic medicines. Setting Community pharmacy settings throughout the State of Qatar. Method A cross-sectional study using a pretested paper-based survey was conducted among a random sample of community pharmacists in Qatar. The data were analyzed using IBM-SPSS® version 20. Both descriptive and inferential statistical analyses were applied. Main outcome measure Knowledge, attitudes, and practices of generic medicines pertaining to regulatory standards, safety, efficacy, quality, and future policies. Results A total of 160 surveys were distributed to community pharmacists of which 118 were returned (response rate, 74 %). The mean total score of generic medicines knowledge among the pharmacists was 6.8 ± 1.6 (maximum possible score was 10). Years of practice as well as place of obtaining academic degree did not influence knowledge score. Approximately 72 % of the pharmacists supported generic substitution for brand name drugs in all cases where a generic medicine is available and the majority (93 %) agreed that pharmacists should be given generic substitution right. Nearly 61 % of the pharmacists considered lack of proven bioequivalence to original brands as an important barrier for selecting generic medicines and 55 % rated “lack of policy for directing the practice of generic medicine” as an important barrier. Conclusion In order to enhance the quality use of and to promote the practice of generic medicines in Qatar, an educational program should be implemented. A national generic medicine policy and guidelines are warranted in the State of Qatar.

About the journal
JournalData powered by TypesetInternational Journal of Clinical Pharmacy
PublisherData powered by TypesetSpringer
Open AccessNo