Objective: To assess knowledge, attitude and practice of resident doctors regarding generic medicines at a tertiary care teaching hospital. Method: This cross sectional study was conducted in 296 resident doctors of a tertiary care teaching hospital using a prevalidated questionnaire, consisting questions of knowledge(17), attitude(8) and practice(10). Data were analyzed for frequency and percentage analysis. Results: A total of 242(81.76%) resident doctors responded to questionnaire. Respondents were aware of the terms generic medicines(100%), branded generic (173,71.4%) and brand medicines (216, 89.2%) and regulations regarding prescription of generic medicines in the hospital(178,73.5%). Majority of participants responded equivocally to: whether generic medicines are cheaper (154, 63.6%) and equally efficacious (166,68.5%) as brand medicines; are easily available(125,51.6%) and switching from brand to generic medicines affects the outcome(192,79.3%). Majority of respondents believed that generic medicines cost less because of inferior quality (174,71.9%), have doubtful efficacy in serious diseases(108,44.6%), can be prescribed in all diseases(150, 61.9%) and prescription of generic medicines should be compulsory (37%). Regulations by government (186, 76.8%), education of medical students (187,77.2%) and incentives to doctors(149,61.5%) were suggested to improve generic prescribing. All the respondents prescribed generic medicines, consisting of 68.9% of total prescription medicines. Concerns about efficacy (242,100%), safety (149,61.5%) and availability(140,57.8%) were the major reasons cited for preferring brand medicines. Fifty percent respondents disagreed on substitution of a brand with a generic medicine by pharmacists. Conclusion: Resident doctors have good awareness about generic medicines and prescription regulations and commonly prescribes these medicines. Concerns about efficacy safety and availability of generic medicines are major reasons for preferring brand medicines.
Key words: Generic medicines, Knowledge, Attitude, Practice, Resident doctors.