US consumers prefer generic over branded drugs

A survey of US consumers has found that they prefer to purchase generic drugs over brand name drugs. Over 80% say they would purchase generics more often than brand name drugs and 42% said they would “always” choose a generic.

The survey of 2,255 US adults was carried out by Harris Poll, a market research company. Older people were found to be even more likely to show a preference for generic medicines.

Of those surveyed, 8% said they would be unwilling to pay any out-of-pocket expenses for a prescription, an increase of 4% since 2008. But 50% of the people who said they would buy generic medicines said they would pay up to US$10 for a 30-day supply of medicine, 28% said they would pay between $10 and $25, 11% would pay between $25 and $50 and 4% would pay over $50.

When the adults surveyed were asked where they go to purchase their prescription medicines, 32% said they go to a pharmacy chain, 17% a discount pharmacy, 14% purchase medicines by mail order or online and 11% go to supermarket pharmacies. Only 7% visit a local independent pharmacy to have their prescription filled and 5% visit a pharmacy located in a hospital or medical centre.

The United States has a healthcare system underpinned by insurance programmes. In the UK, patients pay a charge of £8.05 (£8.20 from 1 April 2015) per prescription item to the NHS, however, many people receive free prescriptions. 

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, US consumers prefer generic over branded drugs;Online:DOI:10.1211/PJ.2015.20068222

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