Eur J Hosp Pharm 20:74-77 doi:10.1136/ejhpharm-2012-000175
  • Research
  • Original article

Switching to different generic medicines: a checklist for safety issues

  1. Nicole G M Hunfeld
  1. Department of Hospital Pharmacy, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence toDr Matthijs L Becker, Department of Hospital Pharmacy, Erasmus MC, PO Box 2040, Rotterdam 3000CA, The Netherlands; m.becker{at}
  • Received 4 July 2012
  • Revised 28 August 2012
  • Accepted 29 August 2012
  • Published Online First 4 October 2012


Competition between commercially available generics results in lower prices and reduction of healthcare costs. However, the introduction of a new generic product may result in problems with the application in clinical practice. We composed a checklist to survey the differences between products. With this checklist we aim to detect properties of the alternative generic drug that might be problematic in clinical use. Timely prediction of the potential problems supports careful selection and introduction of the appropriate generic drug in the clinic. In this article, we discuss the different items in our checklist and mention some of the problems we have encountered in the last few years. We believe that by using this checklist, hospital pharmacists are better able to make the most appropriate choice of a generic drug for the local requirements of a hospital.

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