The study also indicates that 18% say they do not believe that the therapeutic effects of generic drugs, which have a price between 20 to 35% lower than branded ones, are equal.

While acknowledging that the price is lower, more than a third (36%) do not know that generic medicine also allow savings to the National Health Service.

According to Deco Proteste, 89% of respondents said that whenever there is a cheaper generic drug, it must be indicated by the pharmacist. However, 44% said they had been forced to buy branded drugs in the last year because there were no generics, "something that can be justified by the lack of provision or by the lack of this same solution for the drug in question".

The generic drug can only be produced after the patent of the laboratory that developed the original drug has expired. As a rule, patents last for at least 20 years.

The study finds that the majority (68%) believe that the generic drug is as effective as the reference drug, but only less than half of respondents (47%) agree that generics do not cause more adverse reactions than branded drugs.

Citing data from Infarmed, Deco Proteste recalls that, this year, almost half of the packages sold were generics, which are medicines that have the same active substance, the same pharmaceutical form (pill, syrup, etc.) and the same therapeutic indication than the brand name drug that served as a reference.

The work of Deco Proteste resulted from an inquiry carried out in March and April of this year of 1,515 Portuguese people.