Responsible Dispensing of Generic Medicines

4 April 2012

Reports that pharmacists may possibly be dispensing a ”pharmacy-preferred brand” of generic drugs without proper consultation with the patient would be contravening the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s Guidelines on Brand Substitution, guidelines which all pharmacists are expected to follow. 

National President of the PSA, Grant Kardachi, said that all dispensing of generic medicines, including any ”pharmacy-preferred brand”, had to comply with the PSA guidelines. 

“These guidelines were set up to protect the best interests of consumers when non-brand medicines are dispensed,” Mr Kardachi said. 

“The guidelines include two very important elements which are especially relevant to the current situation concerning a ‘’pharmacy-preferred brand’’. 

“First, they state: Brand substitution may only occur after consultation with and agreement of the patient (or the carer), and if the prescriber has not indicated on the prescription, “no substitution or equivalent”. 

“This means that pharmacists cannot just dispense a generic or ‘pharmacy-preferred brand’ without discussion with the consumer.  And that discussion on possibly dispensing a non-brand medicine can only begin if the doctor has not indicated otherwise on the prescription.”


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Responsible Dispensing of Generic Medicines