OBJECTIVES: The objective of this study was to evaluate the general practitioners' (GPs') knowledge and perceptions towards generic medicines in a northern state of Malaysia.
METHOD: A postal cross-sectional survey involving registered GPs in Penang, Malaysia was undertaken. A 23-item questionnaire was developed, validated and administered on the GPs. Eighty-seven GPs responded to the survey (response rate 26.8%).
RESULTS: The majority of the respondents (85.1%) claimed that they actively prescribed generic medicines in their practice. On the other hand, only 4.6% of the respondents correctly identified the Malaysia's National Pharmaceutical Control Bureau's bioequivalence standard for generic products. There were misconceptions among the respondents about the concepts of "bioequivalence", "efficacy", "safety", and "manufacturing standards" of generic medicines. GPs in this survey believed that a standard guideline on brand substitution process, collaboration with pharmacists, patient education and information on safety and efficacy of generic medicines were necessary to ensure quality use of generics. Furthermore, advertisements and product bonuses offered by pharmaceutical companies, patient's socio-economic factors as well as credibility of manufacturers were factors reported to influence their choice of medicine.
CONCLUSION: Although it appeared that GPs have largely accepted the use of generic medicines, they still have concerns regarding the reliability and quality of such products. GPs need to be educated and reassured about generic products approval system in Malaysia concerning bioequivalence, quality, and safety. The current findings have important implications in establishing generic medicines policy in Malaysia.
This study aims to provide baseline data to support the implementation of generic substitution policy in Malaysia by evaluating the community pharmacists' perceptions and opinions on generic substitution and current substitution practices.
Road traffic injuries (RTIs) are a growing public health problem that must be addressed through evidence-based interventions including policy-level changes such as the enactment of legislation to mandate specific behaviors and practices. Policy makers need to be engaged in road safety research to ensure that road safety policies are grounded in scientific evidence. This paper examines the strategies used to engage policy makers and other stakeholder groups and discusses the challenges that result from a multi-disciplinary, inter-sectoral collaboration. A framework for engaging policy makers in research was developed and applied to describe an example of collective road safety research in Malaysia. Key components of this framework include readiness, assessment, planning, implementation/evaluation, and policy development/sustainability. The case study of a collaborative intervention trial for the prevention of motorcycle crashes and deaths in Malaysia serves as a model for policy engagement by road safety and injury researchers. The analytic description of this research process in Malaysia demonstrates that the framework, through its five stages, can be used as a tool to guide the integration of needed research evidence into policy for road safety and injury prevention.
This review was conducted to document published literature related to physicians' knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions of generic medicines in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and to compare the findings with high-income countries.
The East Asian economies of Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand suffered declines in their economic growth rates in 1997. The Indonesian and Thai government followed the World Bank prescription for adjustment, which included a cut-back in government spending at a time when there were significant job losses. Malaysia chose its own path to adjustment. Evidence presented in this paper shows that although the declines were short-lived that there was an impact on the health status measured by mortality rates for the populations of Indonesia and Thailand. There was little apparent impact on the health status of Malaysians. The lessons for other developing economies include the importance of social safety nets and the maintenance of government expenditure in minimising the impact of economic shocks on health.
Both in its articulation of values and through incremental changes, the Malaysian government has signalled a change in attitude towards the welfare approach which had hitherto characterized public health care policy. This change envisions an end to reliance upon the state for the provision and financing of health services and the fostering of a system of family-based welfare. In the future citizens should finance their own health care through savings, insurance or as part of their terms of employment. While the state will still accept a degree of responsibility for those unable to pay for their health care, it wishes to share this burden with the corporate sector and non-government organizations as part of a national policy of the 'Caring Society'. In this article the retreat from a commitment to a welfare model of public health care is documented and some of the serious obstacles to such a policy are discussed. It is concluded that the government's aspirations for reforming the welfare model will need to be tempered by both practical and political considerations. Moreover, the socio-economic consequences of the Asian currency crisis of 1997 are likely to increase the need for government welfare action.