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Table 3 Questions customers usually present about generic substitution and reference price system (n = 465)

From: The content of patient counseling about interchangeable medicines and generic substitution in Finnish community pharmacies - a survey of dispensers

Themes of the questionsExamples of the most commonly asked questions of the themePercent of cases % (n) a
The similarity and equivalence of interchangeable medicinal products (similarity, effectiveness, effect, strength, equally good)“Is it the same medicine?”
“Are the medicines really alike?”
“Is it as effective as the previous one?”
“Do they act in the same way?”
“Are the medicines equally good?”
“Do they have the same amount of active ingredient?”
82.4 (383)
The price of the interchangeable medicinal products (price difference, frequent changing of prices)“What is the price difference?”
“How much does the cheaper one cost?”
“How come it can be so much cheaper/more expensive?”
“Why do the prices vary?”
“How come the price is again different compared to last time?”
34.6 (161)
Differences between interchangeable medicinal products“How do the interchangeable medicines differ from each other?”
“What is the difference?”
20.0 (93)
Side effects and the suitability of the interchangeable medicinal products“Does it have more/different side effects?”
“Is the new drug really suitable for me?”
“Is it really safe to change the medicine?”
“Do I dare to change my medicine?”
8.2 (38)
Reimbursements for medicine expenses“How come I can’t get the full reimbursement when I choose the more expensive one?”7.3 (34)
The origin of the interchangeable medicinal products“Where has the drug been made?”
“Who is the manufacturer?”
“Is it a Finnish product?”
7.1 (33)
The cheaper/cheapest interchangeable medicinal product“What is the cheapest product?”
“Do you have a cheaper one?”
4.9 (23)
Properties of the interchangeable medicinal products (excipients, dividing, appearance, package)“Does it contain lactose”
“Are the tablets scored?”
“Can the tablets be split in half?”
“How big is the tablet?”
“Are the tablets in a blister pack or in a bottle?”
4.7 (22)
Generic substitution in practice“Must I really change my medicine?”
“Can I choose differently next time?”
4.5 (21)
Physician and the generic substitution“Do I need a physician’s permission to change my medicine?”
“Should I first ask my physician?”
3.2 (15)
Reference price system“What is the reference price system?”
“What does the reference price mean?”
3.2 (15)
Other“Why don’t you have the cheapest product in stock?”
“Why did the physician choose to prescribe this product?”
“Why are there so many different options for the same medicine?”
“Why do you have to ask me to change my medicine when the price difference is so small?”
7.1 (33)
  1. arespondents could list several questions