Information provided by generic and brand-name pharmaceutical manufacturers in response to a request
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To assess the medical information provided by manufacturers in response to a specific request, and to compare the responses between generic and brand-name companies.
Community pharmacy in Spain.
A systematic request for product monographs was made between 1999 and 2002 to manufacturers registering new medicines in Spain. A standardised letter was sent to the medical affairs departments. If there was no reply after 3 months, a second standardised letter was sent requesting the monograph. Blood derivatives, intravenous medicines, and radiological contrast agents were excluded.
Main outcome measures
The delay that occurred in receiving information and the type of material sent in response to the request was compared between the two types of companies.
About of 833 medicines from 185 manufacturers were registered during the time period studied. After applying exclusion criteria, 805 medicines, including 419 (52.0%) generic and 386 (48.0%) brand-name products, were analyzed. No replies were received for 242 (30.0%) requests 183 (43.7%) generics and 59 (15.3%) brand-names; P < 0.005). We received 369 (65.5% of 533) replies after the first request: 140 of 236 (59.3%) generics and 229 of 327 (70.0%) brand-names (P = 0.009). The average response delay was 9.7 days [CI95%: 8.65–10.68]. There was a statistically significant difference between generic and brand-name companies after the first request (P = 0.001), but not after the second request (P = 0.312).
Brand-name manufacturers reply more often, more quickly, and with better quality information than generic manufacturers.
KeywordsDrug Information Services Generic drugs Branded drugs Pharmaceutical Industry Spain
The authors would like to thank the staff of International Science Editing, Shannon, Ireland, for their editorial assistance.
Conflicts of interest
The authors have no conflicts of interest that could have biased the results or conclusions. The authors have attended courses and lectures funded by the pharmaceutical industry, both generic and brand-name companies.
No external funding was received for this study.
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