Consumer Perception of Generic Drugs in Comparison to Branded Drugs: A qualitative Study

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Ruta Joshi Aradhna Gandhi


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to determine if consumer perception of generic drugs is equivalent to their perception of branded drugs. The authors hypothesize that consumers have a preference for branded drugs over generics as they are perceived to be of a better quality due to marketing, promotions and advertising. This is despite their awareness that generic drugs are more economical. Furthermore, individuals seem to have developed a habit of using certain brand-names and are reluctant to make a switch to generics.

Proposed Design/Methodology/Approach: Qualitative in-depth interviews were conducted with 15 respondents from various cities in India to understand their lived experiences related to the purchase of drugs.

Practical implications: Generic drug manufacturers could gain a lot of insights regarding the pain points of their consumers which could enable them to relook at their current marketing strategy and incorporate change to foster acceptance for generics and achieve a better sales performance.

Originality/ Value: This paper has mainly two contributions. The study will increase consumer behaviour understanding in the pharmaceutical sector, relating to both branded and generic drugs. It will also give an emerging country (India) perspective which can bridge a knowledge gap in literature

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