Consideration of international generic distribution policies on patient outcomes in the United States and Germany

Pharmazie. 2014 Mar;69(3):238-40.


Generic substitution of narrow therapeutic index drugs can have unintended consequences. Generic switching is often driven by cost incentives, regulations and supply, but may raise concerns about equal bioavailability, therapeutic equivalence and about possible confusion for the patient. Integrated systems of care with active management of patient behaviors, including adherence, may minimize the impact of switching. This article is intended to present policy drivers and potential consequences of generic switching and the role of pharmacist education in minimizing patient risk using warfarin and the pharmaceutical distribution systems of the United States and Germany as examples.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anticoagulants / adverse effects
  • Anticoagulants / standards
  • Biological Availability
  • Drug Industry / economics
  • Drug Industry / trends
  • Drug Substitution*
  • Drugs, Generic / economics
  • Drugs, Generic / standards*
  • Germany
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Humans
  • Legislation, Drug*
  • Policy
  • Therapeutic Equivalency*
  • Treatment Outcome*
  • United States
  • Warfarin / adverse effects
  • Warfarin / standards


  • Anticoagulants
  • Drugs, Generic
  • Warfarin