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Blocks To Generics Linger

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Most regular prescription drug users are using generics, but many other consumers continue to be unfamiliar with or leery of generics.

Prescription Solutions, Irvine, Calif., a pharmacy benefits management subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group Inc., Minnetonka, Minn., is reporting that finding in a summary of results from a May telephone survey of 1,000 U.S. adults ages 18 and older.

About 57% of the participants said they take prescription drugs at least once a week, and 83% of the regular prescription takers said they are using generics.

Although 84% of all survey participants said they believe taking generic drugs saves money both for the patient and for the health system, 18% said they believe it is false that generic drugs have the same active ingredients and effects as brand-name drugs, and 12% said they do not know if generic drugs have the same active ingredients and effects as brand-name drugs.

When pollsters were talking to regular prescription users who are using brand-name drugs, 58% said they are using brand-name drugs because there are no generic equivalents available for the drugs they are taking, but 55% said their doctors had recommended the brand-name drugs, and 27% said they believe brand-name drugs are of higher quality.