A recent national survey of people with serious illnesses and the way they think when seeking medical help and choosing medicine shows that when faced with serious illness, 25.1 percent of people would give priority to brand-name drugs, followed by 24.2 percent, who would consider the brand of a drug first, and 18.4 percent, who would consider a doctor’s advice over anything else.
Eva Teng, a spokeswoman for the National Health Insurance Civic Surveillance Alliance, says that she was shocked when she saw the results of the survey. She believes that people should consider how effective a drug is instead of choosing only brand-name pharmaceuticals.
The survey showed that 70.4 percent of people were willing to spend extra money for brand-name drugs. Of all the respondents, 43.4 percent said they would not be willing to switch to generic drugs after initially taking brand-name drugs, while only 30.1 percent said that they would consider switching.
Teng says that the survey exemplifies how people still believe in the myth that brand-name drugs are better than generic ones. Brand-name pharmaceuticals are actually developed by specific companies, and after a patent expires, other eligible pharmaceutical companies can manufacture products using the same chemical ingredients that the band-name company used when applying for the patent. The effects, quality and medical effectiveness of a generic drug have to be exactly the same as the brand-name drug, Teng says.
(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)