Purpose: This is a descriptive, cross-sectional study design that aims to test the hypothesis on whether Saudi consumers prefer taking brand over generic drugs and to assess the difficulties that prevent Saudi consumers from shifting to generic drugs. Generic drugs are defined as a substitute to brand drugs to treat illnesses.
Methods: The targeted population was Saudi individuals 18 years and above, and 919 participants were recruited into the study. The study employed a structured questionnaire on paper as well as electronic-based questionnaire forms.
Results: In terms of relative overall effectiveness of generic versus brand drugs, the results showed equal numbers of respondents who prefer brand and who prefer generic. The binomial test was carried out to evaluate the statistical significance of the results. Also, quite high percentages indicated that Saudis could not switch to generic drugs because of two main reasons—namely, Saudis directly asked their doctors for generic drugs, and they felt that doctors did not discuss generic drugs as much as they should with their patients.
Conclusions: Healthcare providers and institutions should take the responsibility in providing more information about generic and brand drugs. Also, there is a need to more effectively communicate with patients in order to increase their level of awareness and clarify the differences between the given drugs.
Keywords: Perceptions, Saudi Population, Saudis, Generic Drugs, Brand Drugs, Saudi Consumers, Saudi Patient, Saudi Arabia