Drugs, Generic

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) maintains that the family physician is the patient's advocate. That advocacy demands that the family physician prescribe safe, efficacious pharmaceutical products to deliver high quality medical care, with sensitivity to the patient's individual medical and financial circumstances.

The AAFP recognizes that FDA-approved generic medications may be reasonable alternatives to brand name medications. While generic substitution may often be clinically appropriate and an effective measure to help allocate scarce resources, the AAFP opposes mandatory generic substitution. The Academy’s policy, Principles for the Development and Management of Patient-Centered Formularies, addresses the use of formularies, including generic drugs and therapeutic substitution policies, as a cost management tool.

The AAFP supports affordable generic medications and believes such medications should be readily available for family physicians to prescribe. The AAFP’s policy, Generic Drug Pricing – AAFP Legislative Stance, supports this position.

The AAFP supports the elimination of prior authorizations (PA) for generic drugs. The AAFP believes that this type of administrative burden undermines the doctor and patient relationship and lowers quality of care. AAFP resources on administrative simplification say, in part, "The AAFP is determined to help family physicians reduce these roadblocks by identifying and eliminating regulations and processes that add cost while undermining the efficient and effective delivery of quality care."  

The AAFP supports the idea of uniform product identification codes for all tablets and capsules (brand-name and generic), including designators for manufacturer and dosage strength. It is only by such a coding system that physicians and pharmacists can identify and report product inequalities.

The AAFP supports the development of high quality, therapeutic equivalent, generic medications. These products should have adequate in vivo and/or in vitro evidence supporting bioequivalence (FDA designation AB) or no known or suspected bioequivalence problems (FDA designations AA, AN, AO, AP, or AT, depending on the dosage form).

The AAFP urges its members to participate in clinical research to expand the scientific and practical database regarding generic medications and therapeutic equivalency in various circumstances.

The AAFP recommends that further efforts be supported to enhance post-market medication surveillance for all generic and brand name pharmaceuticals. (1989) (2016 December BOD)