To study prescription behavior of physician in regard to brand and generic name

Rakesh Kumar, Jagminder Kaur Bajaj, Megha Sood, Nipunjot Grewal, Baljit Jassal


Background: Drugs are the chemical substances used for diagnosis, prevention and treatment of a disease. They are prescribed either by using generic name or brand name. The objective of this study was study the preference of registered medical practitioners towards prescribing of drugs by generic name or brand name and to know the reasons for the same.

Methods: The questionnaire based observational study was done on 300 registered medical practitioners after satisfying inclusion and exclusion criteria. The data collected was evaluated and the response recorded in percentage.

Results: Out of 300 practitioners 92% admitted prescribing drug by brand name for fear of substitution by substandard product and did not allow pharmacist to substitute the same, rest 8% prescribe by generic names. 78% considered generic drugs to be less efficacious and 3% had the view that they have more side effects. 83% doctors consider patient affordability while prescribing however only 60% of them informed patients about the cost of prescribed drugs. Other factors influencing prescription behaviour were health care administration policy (10%) and company representative (7%).

Conclusions: Majority of physicians prescribe drugs by brand names due to its assured efficacy and they are reluctant to prescribe generic names because of their view of substitution by less efficacious, substandard and counterfeit products. The regulating agencies have to assure the efficacy of generic products. The spurious and substandard drugs available in the market have to be checked and strict action should be taken in order to maintain the quality of these products. This will boost the confidence of the physicians in prescribing the generic drugs resulting in decreased health care cost.


Generic name, Brand name, Drug, Preference, Side effects

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