Take Part in The Latest Poll.

Click here

 

 Generic Substitution: Your Views

 
 
 
 
 
 

Download the generic substitution factsheet

   
 

In summer 2013 we ran a survey looking at the issue of generic substitutions – whereby patients are sometimes prescribed a generic version of another drug (such as another form of sumatriptan, rather than the Imigran brand) which can have a different effect.

 
     
  41% of respondents stated that in the past three years their GP has changed their triptan or other medication prescription from a branded treatment to a generic alternative.  
 
Changed medication
Not changed
 
     
  For 76% this was an on-going change.  
 
On-going change
One off occurrence
 
     
  53% were not given a reason for the change, but 35% were told it was due to financial reasons.  
 
No reason given
Cost
Availability
 
     
 

For 35% of those who took part in the survey, Imigran was the branded medication they took.

 
 
Imigran
Other branded medication
 
     
 

When considering effectiveness, side effects etc:

 
     
 

27% believed the substitute worked better or about the same as the branded medication.

56% thought it worked less well or didn’t work at all – reasons included taking longer to be effective, often needing repeat doses or having side effects.

 
 
Worked better
Worked less well
No difference
 
     
 

35% of respondents had asked their GP to revert back to the branded medication but 64% of GPs had refused this request.

 
 
Asked to revert
Did not ask
 
 
Actioned
Not Actioned
 
     
 

Nearly a quarter (23%) believed that they have needed an increased number of health consultations with their GP (or specialist) since their medication was changed from a branded medication to a generic substitute.

 
 
Increased GP visits
No change or less GP visits
 
     
 

We also asked if patients had had their medication type changed from one form to another:

 
     
 

36% of respondents had seen their GP change their prescription from one type of migraine medication to another type of medication.

 
 
Changed medication
Not changed
 
     
 

For 77% this was an on-going change.

 
 
Ongoing change
One off occurrence
 
     
 

40% of respondents believed this worked better than their previous medication.

 
 
Worked better
No change or less well
 
     
 

Only 13% had asked their GP to revert back to their previous medication. Half (50%) of requests were actioned.

 
 
Asked
Did not ask
 
 
Yes
No

 
     
 

27% believed their needed an increased number of health consultations as a result.

 
 
Increased GP visits No change or less GP visits