| RESEARCH ARTICLE
|Year : 2016 | Volume
| Issue : 7 | Page : 29-32
Assessment of knowledge and perceptions toward generic medicines among basic science undergraduate medical students at Aruba
P Ravi Shankar1, Burton L Herz1, Arun K Dubey1, Mohamed A Hassali2
1 Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Medicine, Xavier University School of Medicine, Oranjestad, Aruba
2 Discipline of Social and Administrative Pharmacy, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia
Objective: Use of generic medicines is important to reduce rising health-care costs. Proper knowledge and perception of medical students and doctors toward generic medicines are important. Xavier University School of Medicine in Aruba admits students from the United States, Canada, and other countries to the undergraduate medical (MD) program. The present study was conducted to study the knowledge and perception about generic medicines among basic science MD students.
Materials and Methods: The cross-sectional study was conducted among first to fifth semester students during February 2015. A previously developed instrument was used. Basic demographic information was collected. Respondent’s agreement with a set of statements was noted using a Likert-type scale. The calculated total score was compared among subgroups of respondents. One sample Kolmogorov–Smirnov test was used to study the normality of distribution, Independent samples t-test to compare the total score for dichotomous variables, and analysis of variance for others were used for statistical analysis.
Results: Fifty-six of the 85 students (65.8%) participated. Around 55% of respondents were between 20 and 25 years of age and of American nationality. Only three respondents (5.3%) provided the correct value of the regulatory bioequivalence limits. The mean total score was 43.41 (maximum 60). There was no significant difference in scores among subgroups.
Conclusions: There was a significant knowledge gap with regard to the regulatory bioequivalence limits for generic medicines. Respondents’ level of knowledge about other aspects of generic medicines was good but could be improved. Studies among clinical students in the institution and in other Caribbean medical schools are required. Deficiencies were noted and we have strengthened learning about generic medicines during the basic science years.
Use of generic medicines reduces the cost of treatment and promotes rational use of medicines. Generic medicines are widely used in developed countries. Medical students as future doctors have an important role in promoting use of generic medicines. Knowledge gaps with regard to use of these medicines exist and must be corrected through appropriate education.
P Ravi Shankar
Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Medicine, Xavier University School of Medicine, Oranjestad
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
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