Do branded medicines hold more sway over consumers than their generic versions?
November 24th, 2023, Bhavika Bansal

Do branded medicines hold more sway over consumers than their generic versions?

The allure of well-known brand names vs. the economic appeal of generics - who wins the perennial debate in the vast expanses of pharmacy aisles across international markets? Results of a recent YouGov poll of consumers from 17 key markets reveals that for a third of our respondents there isn’t a clear winner, with 34% saying they generally buy equal amounts of branded and generic medicines. 

While more than two-fifths of respondents say the same about food and drink items (46%) and clothing and fashion accessories (42%), when it comes to tech products like headphones and mobile accessories, branded versions are the clear winners (45%).

The study further reveals how branded medications stack up against their generic counterparts among consumers across specific markets including Great Britain, Denmark, Mexico, the US, the UAE, and India. 

Contrary to the international average, more than two out of five adults in the UAE and India say they mostly buy branded medicines (44% for both). However, the opposite is true among Britons, who say they prefer to mostly buy generic versions of their medication (45%, the highest among the six markets).

Much like their British counterparts, Americans are also more than twice as likely to buy generic medicines than their branded versions (39% vs. 15%).

On the other hand, nearly two-fifths of consumers in Mexico say they prefer to mostly buy branded medicines (49%)- same as the proportion of respondents who say they buy an equal amount of branded and generic medication. 

A look at the data by gender demographics reveals that while our make respondents are more likely to buy branded medicines than female respondents (25% vs. 22%), nearly half of the polled women say they buy an equal amount of branded and generic medicines (48%) compared to 44% of men.

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Methodology: YouGov Surveys: Serviced provide quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. The data is based on surveys of adults aged 18+ years in 18 markets with sample sizes varying between 508 and 2,001 for each market. All surveys were conducted online in September 2023 Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from Mexico and India, which use urban representative samples, and Indonesia and Hong Kong, which use online representative samples. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced.