Incentives and Characteristics that Explain Generic Prescribing Practices

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2013-05-03

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Abstract

This study uses the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (2006-2010) and Health Tracking Physician Survey (2008) to study the incentives and characteristics that explain physician generic prescribing habits. The findings can be characterized into four main categories: (1) financial/economic, (2) informational, (3) patient-dependent and (4) drug idiosyncratic effects. Physicians in practices owned by HMOs or practices that had at least one managed care contract are significantly more likely to prescribe generic medicines. Furthermore, physicians who have drug industry influence are less likely to prescribe generic medicines. This study also finds consistent evidence that generic prescribing is reduced for patients with private insurance compared to self-pay patients. Drug-specific characteristics play an important role for whether a drug is prescribed as a generic or brand-name - including not only market characteristics, such as monopoly duration length, public familiarity with the generic and the quality of the generic, but also non-clinical drug characteristics, such as the length of the generic name compared the length of the brand-name. In particular, the public's familiarity with the generic has a large effect on the generic prescribing rate for a given drug. There are few differences between the generic prescribing habits of primary care physicians and specialists after controlling for the drugs prescribed.

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Honors Thesis. Finalist for Allen Starling Johnson, Jr. Best Thesis Prize (2013).

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Citation

Nayak, Rahul (2013). Incentives and Characteristics that Explain Generic Prescribing Practices. Honors thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/7023.


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