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Publication details

Post-print of: Ward, SP, Pecotich, A, O'Cass, A & Julian, CC 2008, 'A rose by any other name? The influence of brand name versus chemical differences in the prescription of antidepressants', Journal of Macromarketing, vol 28, no. 3, pp. 258-274.

Published version available from: 10.1177/0276146708320445

Peer Reviewed



The effect that marketing has had on the prescription decisions of the medical profession is an area of great social and governmental concern and has been the subject of substantial international debate. In this study, the importance of brand name as a factor influencing the prescription habits of general practitioners and psychiatrists is examined. Data on antidepressant prescriptions supplied by the Australian Governments Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme and results derived from MANOVA and ANOVA analyses suggest that the brand name as much as chemical differences influenced the prescription of choice of antidepressants by both general practitioners and psychiatrists. The use of a well-promoted brand name may be an important evaluation shortcut by both groups regardless of detailed training resulting in medical practices, which may undermine the social imperative of affordable medical care for all. The authors suggest that clinical appropriateness of prescriptions for antidepressants by brand name needs further investigation.