Effects of anxiety on preferences for generic medicines in Australia

Belinda L. Barton, Paul F. Burke, David S. Waller*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Generic medicines have been available to consumers for ∼40 years, with varying degrees of uptake in different countries. Despite offering equivalent therapeutic qualities, generic medicines still struggle to be accepted by consumers. This study examines the role of a consumer's affective state and framing effects on the purchase of a branded versus a generic pharmaceutical product. These issues are examined in an experiment, with independent manipulations of consumer anxiety levels and the framing of generic alternatives by the pharmacist. The sample comprised 426 men and women within Australia who completed an online survey with a scenario of purchasing a pharmaceutical after visiting a General Practitioner. Results indicate that those consumers experiencing higher levels of anxiety and where the doctor prescribed the branded medicine are more likely to choose branded medicines over cheaper, generic alternatives. The effect of framing the generic alternative as either 'generic' or 'cheaper' was not significant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-195
Number of pages9
JournalHealth Promotion International
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021
Externally publishedYes


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