pharmacist and doctor  While a majority of physicians are comfortable with generic medications, there is a small segment who still have negative perceptions about the effectiveness and quality of generic drugs, and that may lead to doctors prescribing unnecessarily expensive medications, according to a new study by researchers at Harvard, Brigham and Women's Hospital and CVS Caremark.

In a study published in the Annals of Pharmacotherapy, the researchers stated, "Overall, we found that the majority of physicians are comfortable with the efficacy of generic medications and are comfortable using generics themselves. However, there is a meaningful proportion who express concerns about generics. These beliefs could represent an important barrier to greater generic use and could contribute to elevated prescription costs for patients, insurance providers and society."

According to the study, 23% of doctors have negative perceptions of the effectiveness and quality of generic medications.

"While there are many studies about how consumers and patients view generics, we thought it would be important to also look at the perception of generics by prescribers, because understanding the physician's perception can help us determine if there are other potential barriers to the greater use of generics," stated lead author of the study William Shrank of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard. "We don't have clear insight as to what might influence a prescriber's behavior, and as we look to develop programs to encourage more cost-effective pharmacy care, this is an area industry and policy-makers should be reviewing. We know that if we help patients access less expensive medications, they are more likely to take them."

Read entire article here