The prescribing of generic medicines in Nigeria: knowledge, perceptions and attitudes of physicians

Joseph O. Fadare, Adekunle O. Adeoti, Olufemi O. Desalu, Okezie O. Enwere, Aliyu M. Makusidi, Olayinka Ogunleye, Taofiki A. Sunmonu, Ilse Truter, Onyinye O. Akunne, Brian Godman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Generic medicines have the same efficacy and safety as originators at lower prices; however, there are concerns with their utilization in Nigeria. Objective was to evaluate physicians’ understanding and perception of generics. A questionnaire was administered among physicians working in tertiary healthcare facilities in four geo-political regions of Nigeria. Questionnaire response was 74.3% (191/257) among mainly males (85.9%). The mean knowledge score regarding generics was 5.3 (maximum of 9) with 36.6%, 36.1% and 27.2% having poor, average and good knowledge respectively. Cross-tabulation showed statistical significance (p = 0.047) with the duration of practice but not with position, subspecialty or sex. The majority of respondents did not believe that generic medicines are of lower quality than branded medicines. Therapeutic failure was a major concern in 82.7%, potentially discouraging the prescribing of generics, and a majority (63.9%) did not support generic substitution by pharmacists. Knowledge gaps were identified especially with the perception of generics, which need to be addressed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)639-650
Number of pages12
JournalExpert Review of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sept 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Generics
  • Nigeria
  • generic substitution
  • physicians’ knowledge and attitudes
  • prescribing


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