Category: Professional Posters
Purpose: Generic drug substitution is nowadays one of the cornerstones in economic savings in many countries due to the significant differences in the price between generic and brand medications. In Lebanon, a unified medical prescription is adopted, and pharmacists recently can substitute brand-generic and generic-generic without referring to the prescribing physician. Thus, this study was conducted to evaluate the knowledge, attitude and practice of Lebanese community pharmacists towards generic drug substitution.
Methods: This prospective study was approved by the institutional review board; and was conducted in community pharmacies in Beirut and Mount-Lebanon. Pharmacists were asked to fill a questionnaire that assessed their demographics, their education level and their experience in the community pharmacy field. The questionnaire also targeted the pharmacists’ knowledge and attitude, as well as their daily practice towards generic substitution. The primary endpoint was to evaluate the knowledge about generic drug substitution expressed as the score of knowledge. Secondary endpoints included assessment of the pharmacists’ attitude and practice toward this substitution.
Results: A total of 200 community pharmacists were included over a 4-month period. According to our questionnaire, the maximum score of knowledge that can be statistically reached was defined as 60. The majority of pharmacists showed good knowledge with a mean score of 50.48 (plus or minus 5.20). In addition, 58 percent of pharmacists believed that there should be a standard national guidelines to pharmacists on brands and generics substitution process. On the other hand, only 45 percent of our participating pharmacists believed that they should perform generic substitution without consulting the prescribing physician. When coming to practice, 93 percent of the pharmacists dispense generic medications in their daily practice; however, only 58.5 percent perform this substitution without referring to the prescribing physician.
Conclusion: Good overall knowledge was found among Lebanese community pharmacists with respect to brand-generic and generic-generic drug substitution. In addition, most pharmacists also favor the concept of generic drug substitution. This study could be implemented to further set clear national guidelines and educate community pharmacists about applicable generic drug substitution.