Physicians Show No Loyalty to Branded Drugs

Even if they don't work as well, by switching to the generic equivalent of drugs as soon as they're available, prescribers in the U.S. saved the health care system and consumers more than $900 billion.

Physicians have shown that they have little brand loyalty when it comes to prescribing medications, something that will cost the pharmaceutical companies billions.

A report by DoctorDirectory revealed that prescribers are switching patients over to generic equivalents of branded drugs as soon as they become available. And this is despite the fact that 66% of prescribers reported experiencing a failure in the generics where the brand was successful.

An overwhelming 94% of prescribers reported that patients have reported that the branded drug worked better than the generic equivalent they were switched to.

And at pharmacies, the report revealed, pharmacists are likely to dispense the generic version of a drug unless the prescriber has written “Dispense as Written” on the prescription. Only 4% of prescribers reported that they always or very often include that order.

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ecause of this habit of switching to generics, Big Pharma stands to lose over $100 billion by the end of 2013 as patents expire. This year alone Plavix and Viagra are just two of the blockbuster drugs whose patents will expire.

Other expiring patents are for Singulair, which prevents symptoms of asthma and allergies; Levaquin, which treats pneumonia and some infections; Seroquel and Zyprexa, both of which are atypical antipsychotics; Enbrl for rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis; and Actos for type 2 diabetes.

Plus, at the end of 2011, Pfizer’s patent for Lipitor expired. In 2010, Pfizer made more than $5.3 billion in U.S. sales from Lipitor, according to ABC News.

Healthcare Finance News reported that the U.S. health care system and consumers saved more than $900 billion over the last decade just by using generic drugs.