International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 36, Issue 2, pp 394–404 | Cite as

Knowledge, attitudes, and practices of community pharmacists on generic medicines in Qatar

  • Ahmed Awaisu
  • Nadir Kheir
  • Mohamed Izham Mohamed Ibrahim
  • Maguy El-Hajj
  • Huda Hazi
  • Nada Khudair
  • Raja Barazi
Research Article


Background The practice of generic medicines prescribing, dispensing and substitution in developing countries has been controversial among healthcare professionals, particularly due to issues on quality, safety and efficacy. These controversies are as a result of inter-country differences in policies and laws as well as individualized knowledge and attitudes of pharmacists pertaining to generic medicines. Objective This study primarily aims to assess the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of community pharmacists in Qatar towards generic medicines. Setting Community pharmacy settings throughout the State of Qatar. Method A cross-sectional study using a pretested paper-based survey was conducted among a random sample of community pharmacists in Qatar. The data were analyzed using IBM-SPSS® version 20. Both descriptive and inferential statistical analyses were applied. Main outcome measure Knowledge, attitudes, and practices of generic medicines pertaining to regulatory standards, safety, efficacy, quality, and future policies. Results A total of 160 surveys were distributed to community pharmacists of which 118 were returned (response rate, 74 %). The mean total score of generic medicines knowledge among the pharmacists was 6.8 ± 1.6 (maximum possible score was 10). Years of practice as well as place of obtaining academic degree did not influence knowledge score. Approximately 72 % of the pharmacists supported generic substitution for brand name drugs in all cases where a generic medicine is available and the majority (93 %) agreed that pharmacists should be given generic substitution right. Nearly 61 % of the pharmacists considered lack of proven bioequivalence to original brands as an important barrier for selecting generic medicines and 55 % rated “lack of policy for directing the practice of generic medicine” as an important barrier. Conclusion In order to enhance the quality use of and to promote the practice of generic medicines in Qatar, an educational program should be implemented. A national generic medicine policy and guidelines are warranted in the State of Qatar.


Community pharmacists Generic medicines Qatar Substitution 



The authors thank all community pharmacists who voluntarily participated in this study.


This publication was made possible by a UREP award [UREP11-068-3-012] from the Qatar National Research Fund (a member of The Qatar Foundation).

Conflicts of interest

Statements made in this article are the sole responsibility of the authors. There are not other conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Koninklijke Nederlandse Maatschappij ter bevordering der Pharmacie 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ahmed Awaisu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Nadir Kheir
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mohamed Izham Mohamed Ibrahim
    • 1
    • 2
  • Maguy El-Hajj
    • 1
    • 2
  • Huda Hazi
    • 1
  • Nada Khudair
    • 1
  • Raja Barazi
    • 1
  1. 1.College of PharmacyQatar UniversityDohaQatar
  2. 2.Clinical Pharmacy and Practice Section, College of PharmacyQatar UniversityDohaQatar

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