Insurers and policymakers encourage the use of generic drugs to reduce costs, but generics remain underused. We conducted a national survey of commercially insured adults to evaluate their perceptions about generic drugs. Patients agreed that generics are less expensive and a better value than brand-name drugs, and are just as safe. However, although 56 percent reported that Americans should use more generics, only 37.6 percent prefer to take generics. We discuss perceptions about communicating with practitioners about generics, generic substitution, and policymakers' role in influencing generic use. These findings underscore the challenge that providers, insurers, and policymakers face in stimulating the cost-effective use of medications.
Shrank, William HCox, Emily RFischer, Michael AMehta, JyotsnaChoudhry, Niteesh KK23 HL090505-02/HL/NHLBI NIH HHS/United StatesK23HL090505-01/HL/NHLBI NIH HHS/United StatesResearch Support, N.I.H., ExtramuralResearch Support, Non-U.S. Gov'tUnited StatesHealth affairs (Project Hope)Health Aff (Millwood). 2009 Mar-Apr;28(2):546-56.