RESEARCH ARTICLE: Final year pharmacy students’ knowledge and perceptions towards generic medicines: A survey-based pilot study from Eastern province, Saudi Arabia
Keywords:Bioequivalence, Generic medicine, Knowledge, Pharmacy student, Saudi Arabia
Objective: A prospective cross-sectional survey-based pilot study was conducted amongst final year pharmacy students at a private pharmacy college in Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia, to evaluate the knowledge and perception toward generic medicines.
Methods: This online survey-based study was carried out amongst all final year students enrolled in the pharmacy programme between 1 February and 30 April 2020.
Results: The response rate was 95.56%. Most participants (66.27%) agreed that generic products are therapeutically equivalent to the innovator brand product, and 75.57% reported the need for more information on how bioequivalence tests are conducted for generic medicines. Furthermore, 34.88% agreed that generic medicines are of inferior quality to brand drugs and 73.24% reported the need for more information on the issues pertaining to the safety and efficacy of generic medicines.
Conclusion: This study showed that fifth-year pharmacy students had a basic knowledge of generic medicines, with an ambivalent perception of generics’ quality and safety standards. A number of collaborative initiatives should be planned and executed to equip future pharmacists with broad knowledge concerning generic medications.
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