International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 124–131 | Cite as

Exploring community pharmacists’ views on generic medicines: a nationwide study from Malaysia

  • Chee Ping ChongEmail author
  • Mohamed Azmi Hassali
  • Mohd Baidi Bahari
  • Asrul Akmal Shafie
Research Article


Objective To evaluate the Malaysian community pharmacists’ views on generic medicines. Setting A sample of 1419 Malaysian community pharmacies with resident pharmacists. Method A cross-sectional nationwide survey using a self-completed mailing questionnaire. Main outcome measure Pharmacists’ views on generic medicines including issues surrounding efficacy, safety, quality and bioequivalence. Results Responses were received from 219 pharmacies (response rate 15.4%). Only 50.2% of the surveyed pharmacists agreed that all products that are approved as generic equivalents can be considered therapeutically equivalent with the innovator medicines. Around 76% of respondents indicated that generic substitution of narrow therapeutic index medicines is inappropriate. The majority of the pharmacists understood that a generic medicine must contain the same amount of active ingredient (84.5%) and must be in the same dosage form as the innovator brand (71.7%). About 21% of respondents though that generic medicines are of inferior quality compared to innovator medicines. Most of the pharmacists (61.6%) disagreed that generic medicines produce more side-effects than innovator brand. Pharmacists graduated from Malaysian universities, twinning program and overseas universities were not differed significantly in their views on generic medicines. Additionally, the respondents appeared to have difficulty in ascertaining the bioequivalent status of the marketed generic products in Malaysia. Conclusion The Malaysian pharmacists’ have lack of information and/or trust in the generic manufacturing and/or approval system in Malaysia. This issue should be addressed by pharmacy educators and relevant government agencies.


Bioequivalence Community pharmacist Generic medicine Malaysia Views 



The authors acknowledge the pharmacists who voluntarily participated in this study.



Conflicts of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest in connection with this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chee Ping Chong
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mohamed Azmi Hassali
    • 2
  • Mohd Baidi Bahari
    • 1
  • Asrul Akmal Shafie
    • 2
  1. 1.Discipline of Clinical Pharmacy, School of Pharmaceutical SciencesUniversiti Sains MalaysiaMindenMalaysia
  2. 2.Discipline of Social and Administrative Pharmacy, School of Pharmaceutical SciencesUniversiti Sains MalaysiaMindenMalaysia

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