Patients' concern about their medicine after a generic switch: a combined cross-sectional questionnaire and register study

Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2014 Sep;23(9):965-73. doi: 10.1002/pds.3671. Epub 2014 Jun 19.


Purpose: This study aims to investigate the possible association between patients' concerns about their medicine and generic switch.

Methods: Cross-sectional survey was carried out comprising responses from 2217 randomly selected persons aged 20 years or older and living in the Region of Southern Denmark, who had redeemed generically substitutable drugs in September 2008. For each patient, we focused on the purchase of one generically substitutable drug (index drug). We applied the specific concerns subscale from the Beliefs about Medicine Questionnaire (BMQ) to analyse lack of confidence in treatment. We also included general beliefs about medicine (BMQ), views on generic medicine and confidence in the health-care system. The information about the patients' generic switch was obtained from a prescription database and not provided by the patients. Data were analysed using linear regression.

Results: No statistically significant associations were found between concerns about the index medicine and the generic switch (-0.02 95% CI: -0.10; 0.05). Viewing medicines as harmful in general was associated with increased concerns (BMQ general harm: 0.39 95% CI: 0.30; 0.47 and BMQ general overuse: 0.28 95% CI: 0.20; 0.35). Patients having high confidence in the health-care system showed less concern (-0.16 95% CI: -0.27; -0.06).

Conclusion: This study showed that for all three drug categories investigated, the patients who experienced a generic switch did not have more concerns about their index medicine than patients who did not switch.

Keywords: anti-epileptics and antidepressants; generic switch; pharmacoepidemiology; specific concerns about medicine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Databases, Pharmaceutical
  • Denmark
  • Drug Substitution / psychology*
  • Drugs, Generic / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Patient Medication Knowledge / statistics & numerical data*
  • Registries
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Drugs, Generic