Vallano A, Fortuny J, Arnau JM, Laporte JR. Generic drug prescription at discharge from a hospital emergency service. Med Clin (Barc). 2003 Nov 15;121(17):645-9. doi: 10.1016/s0025-7753(03)74048-2

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Drug prescription at hospital discharge often implies continuation of the treatment in primary health care. The aim of this study was to assess prescription of generics at discharge from a hospital emergency service.

MATERIAL AND METHOD: Longitudinal and retrospective study, on a random sample of medical reports in a hospital emergency service during one year (August 2000 to July 2001). Information on the medical specialty, prescribed generic drugs and marked availability of the corresponding generic drugs pharmaceutical specialties was collected. Factors associated with generic prescription were analyzed by means of logistic regression analysis.

RESULTS: A sample of 1,245 medical reports was selected in which 2,315 drugs were prescribed. Although generic drugs were available for 33.3% (CI 95%, 31.4-35.2) of prescriptions, 9.5% (95% CI, 8.3-10.7) of prescribed drugs were generics. The average price of trademark prescribed medicines, for which there was a generic equivalent, was 7.09 Euros (95% CI, 6.54-7.63 Euros), and that of the corresponding generic versions was 5.08 Euros (95% CI, 4.68-5.48 Euros). Variables associated with generic drug prescription included the particular study period (OR=1.35; 95% CI, 0.99-1.84), the medical specialty of the prescriber (OR=1.40; 95% CI, 1.05-1.86), availability of generic drugs (OR=1.76; 95% CI, 1.30-2.39) and low price of prescribed drugs (OR=2.67; 95% CI, 1.80-3.98).

CONCLUSION: In spite of the availability of generic drugs, prescription of generic drugs at discharge of this hospital emergency service was low. Prescription and use of generic drugs should be promoted in hospitals.

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