Perceptions and patterns of use of generic drugs among Italian Family Pediatricians: First round results of a web survey

Valentina Fabiano, Chiara Mameli, Dario Cattaneo, Antonella Delle Fave, Alessandra Preziosa, Giuseppe Mele, Emilio Clementi, Gian Vincenzo Zuccotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Prescription of generic medicines represents an efficacious healthcare cost containment strategy. In some European countries and in the US, generic medicines are largely prescribed. In Italy, generic drugs prescription rate is lower. General Practitioners and Family Pediatricians may be less confident in prescribing generic equivalents instead of "branded" medicines. There are currently no data about Italian Family Pediatricians' perceptions and patterns of use of generic drugs. This is a first nationwide web survey conducted with the aim to evaluate generic medicines knowledge and prescribing habits of Italian Family Pediatricians. 303 Family Pediatricians completed the online questionnaire. 37.2% and 32.6% of them declared to have a sufficient or fairly good knowledge of generic medicines, respectively, and the majority of them believed that efficacy of generic medicines was sufficient (33.6%) or good (45.2%). Nevertheless, Italian Family Pediatricians are still prone to prescribe trade medicines more frequently, since only 13.5% of them declared that more than a half of their patients were treated with generic medicines. Major issues related with generic medicines prescriptions by Italian Family Pediatricians seem to be represented by diffuse scepticism about reliability of bioequivalence tests and safety of switchability from branded to generic equivalents. More information about generic drugs and more research in the field of pediatric pharmacology are needed for increasing generic medicines prescription rate among Italian Family Pediatricians.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-252
Number of pages6
JournalHealth Policy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012


  • Bioequivalence
  • Generic medicines
  • Pediatricians
  • Pediatrics
  • Prescription

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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