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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


RICARTE DIEZ, José I.; BENOUNNA, Hatim; VELARDE MAYOL, Cristina  and  TORRES GARCIA, Rafael M.. Differences between prescription and dispensing of generic medicines in primary care. When the exception is the rule. Gac Sanit [online]. 2007, vol.21, n.5, pp.404-406. ISSN 0213-9111.

Objectives: To quantify the frequency and cost of switching prescribed generic brand drugs for others at dispensation in pharmacies. Methods: We performed a descriptive cross-sectional study to compare prescription and dispensation of generic drugs in a primary care quota by using computerized data from medical consulting rooms and the Pharmaceutical Service Management Program in 2005. Results: Of 16,181 prescriptions, 3,759 generic prescriptions were included in the study, with a mean price of 7.61 euros as opposed to 8.01 euros for those dispensed in the retail pharmacy. In 62.9% of drugs, the brand prescribed by the doctor was not dispensed. In 65.1% of cases in which the brand was switched, the drug was changed for another generic drug with a higher price. Conclusions: Changing the prescribed generic drug was common in the quota studied with a tendency to dispense another drug that was more expensive, thereby increasing costs.

Keywords : Generics drugs; Dispensing; Drug costs.

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