Influencers of generic drug utilization: A systematic review

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Introduction:With an increase in prescription drug spending and rising drug costs there is a need to encourage the use of generic prescription drugs. However, maximizing generic drug use is not possible without the public's positive perception and meeting their informational needs about generic drugs. Thus, improving the public's confidence in, and knowledge of generic drugs on the market is critical. The objective of this systematic review is to examine and evaluate the studies focusing on the nature and extent of key factors influencing generic drug use in the United States in order to help guide policy, education and practice interventions.Materials and methods:Using multiple search engines and key word screening criteria, empirical studies published in English between January 1, 2005 and December 31, 2015 were identified. A qualitative synthesis of the evidence identified domains of key factors that influenced generic drug use across studies.Results:Over 3000 citations met the key word screening criteria; 67 of these met inclusion criteria for the systematic review. Seven domains of factors that influence generic drug utilization were identified: 1) patient-related factors, 2) formulary management or cost containment, 3) healthcare policies, 4) promotional activities, 5) educational initiatives, 6) technology, and 7) physician-related factors.Conclusion:Patients, physicians, pharmacists, formulary managers, and policymakers play an important role in generic drug use. Understanding the factors influencing generic drug use can help guide future policy, education, and practice interventions to increase generic drug use.

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