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Clin Dermatol. 2013 Nov-Dec;31(6):772-6. doi: 10.1016/j.clindermatol.2013.05.015.

Brand name versus generic drugs: the ethical quandary in caring for our sophisticated patients while trying to reduce health-care costs: facts and controversies.

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Department of Dermatology, University of Connecticut Health Center, 21 South Road, 2nd Floor, Farmington, CT 06032, USA. Electronic address:


Medical ethics are the values and guidelines that govern decisions made in medical practice. Four prima facie moral principles can serve as a framework to help physicians analyze problems and make ethical decisions: (1) respect for autonomy, (2) beneficence, (3) non-maleficence, and (4) justice. With the cost of health care rising, all parties involved in the delivery of health care need to work to reduce costs, while continuing to provide quality care to our patients. One mechanism to reduce costs is to increase utilization of generic medications in daily practice, but there are many ethical issues inherent in utilizing brand name versus generic medications in dermatology.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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