Generic medications for you, but brand-name medications for me

Amy J. Keenum, Jennifer E. DeVoe, Deena J. Chisolm, Lorraine S. Wallace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Background: Because generic medications are less expensive than brand-name medications, government and private insurers have encouraged and/or mandated the use of generics. Objective: This study aimed at evaluating perceptions about generic medications among English-speaking women of childbearing age currently enrolled in U.S. TennCare (Medicaid). Methods: We recruited a convenience sample of patients from the waiting room of a primary care/gynecology health clinic, with 80% recruitment rate among those approached. We orally administered a 25-item questionnaire to gather sociodemographic information and to assess beliefs regarding the efficacy, safety, cost, and preferences for personal use of generic medications. Results: The average age of the women (n = 172) was 28.8 ± 6.4 years, and most were white (82.0%) and currently married (58.1%). Nearly one-fifth (19.2%) had not completed high school. Most women believed that generic medications were less expensive (97.6%) and better value (60.5%) than brand-name medications, but only 45.3% preferred to take generics themselves. About a quarter (23.3%) believed that brand-name medications were more effective than generics, whereas 13.4% believed that generics caused more side effects. Few women reported that their doctor (29.7%) and/or pharmacist (35.5%) had ever talked to them about taking generics. Conclusion: Awareness of the benefits of generics did not equal preferences for personal use of generics among this sample of women enrolled in U.S. TennCare. Furthermore, women reported that providers-both physicians and pharmacists-infrequently discussed generic substitution with them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)574-578
Number of pages5
JournalResearch in Social and Administrative Pharmacy
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2012


  • Attitudes
  • Beliefs
  • Generic
  • Knowledge
  • Medicine
  • Perceptions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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