Why Pharmaceutical Reps Like Doctors To Write No Substitution

Pharmaceutical Reps Encourage No Substitution

Sometimes pharmacists will see in a prescription where a doctor has written the words ‘no substitution’ or ‘no sub’ just after the name of the drug he or she prescribed for a patient.  Pharmaceutical reps love this but outsiders may not really understand what this no substitution is all about.

It turns out that many popular prescription drugs out in the market have been genericized so that there are cheaper copies of trade name drugs.  Pharmacists like generic drugs because it costs lower to stock them as inventory at the pharmacies compared to the more expensive trade name drugs.

Pharmacists Often Substitute With Generic Drugs

So what will often happen is that if a patient brings in a prescription for a drug that is already genericized, the pharmacist will fill it with the generic version rather than the original trade name one.  Some pharmacies may not even bother stocking the trade name versions anymore.

Many patients also are in favour of the pharmacist using the generic forms because the cost of the prescriptions will be lower for them.  And in many cases, drug benefit plans may even provide more coverage for the generics rather than the trade name drugs although sometimes it’s the reverse depending on the drug plan.

Pharmaceutical Reps Point Out Efficacy Differences

Generic drugs are bioequivalent versions of the trade name drug chemicals but one catch is that in order to be approved as a generic drug for sale in the market, it doesn’t have to show similar efficacy in patients.  It just has to show bioequivalent chemicals so no clinical trials with patients were ever done with generics.

One would think that if the chemicals are equivalent, there would be the same efficacy on patients but in reality, this is not always the case.  Many doctors have noticed a difference in efficacy between patients who got the original trade name drug compared to those who got a generic.

No Substitution Written On Prescriptions

This is why in many cases, for some particular drugs, doctors will add in the phrase ‘no substitution’ in the prescription.  When pharmacists see this, they cannot substitute a generic version for that prescription as they must give the trade name drug to the patient.

Pharmaceutical reps will try to convince doctors to do this all the time since this will ensure that prescriptions are filled with their trade name drugs rather than lose business to the generic companies.  Sometimes doctors will support writing no sub and sometimes not.  It can also depend on the particular drug as well.

More Background Info For Future Pharmaceutical Reps

If you want more interesting background information like this since you want to become a part of a team of pharmaceutical reps then my free webinar on pharmaceutical representative careers will be perfect.  Go to the link or see the intro video at the top left sidebar of this blog.

no substitution prescription pharmaceutical reps
Creative Commons License photo credit: tharealMrGreen

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