Reasons for the Underutilization of Generic Drugs by US Ophthalmologists: A Survey

Jamie Dietze, Aaron Priluck, Robin High, Shane Havens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: Cross-sectional survey of 92 board-certified practicing Midwestern ophthalmologists to determine why prescribing habits favor brand-name drugs over generics and to identify approaches for increasing generic drug utilization. Methods: A survey was sent to members of state ophthalmology societies, private practice groups, and individual ophthalmologists to evaluate basic demographic/practice information, knowledge and opinions on generic drugs, frequency of drug representative visits, understanding of the Food and Drug Administration’s process of evaluating generics, knowledge of patients’ financial status and preferences, and action items that would increase generic utilization. Results: Three factors increase the likelihood of ophthalmologists switching patients to generic drugs: increased knowledge of (1) generic options, (2) price differences between brand-names and generics, and ((3) patient preference for generics. The following four factors decrease the likelihood of ophthalmologists switching patients to generic drugs: (1) increased disease severity, (2) feeling that patient outcomes may be affected by choice of brand-name versus generic, (3) personal preference for taking a brand-name drug over a generic for their own hypothetical eye disease even if both were free, and (4) increased personal preference for taking a brand-name drug for their hypothetical eye disease. Conclusion: Ophthalmologists should continue to update themselves on generic medication options, become familiar with the price difference of generics versus brand-name drugs for commonly prescribed medications, and seek patients’ opinions on generics and correct them when possible to increase generic utilization. In addition, studies evaluating the clinical equivalence of generic drugs relative to brand-name drugs should be performed and may help increase generic utilization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)955-970
Number of pages16
JournalOphthalmology and Therapy
Volume9
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2020

Keywords

  • Generic utilization
  • Medication costs
  • Ophthalmic drugs
  • Physician bias
  • Prescribing habits

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology

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