07/22/2014 12:39 EDT

Brand Name Or Generic Drugs? Here's What Informed Shoppers Do

Shoppers choose pricier brand name drugs over their generic counterparts, but health care professionals know better, says a new study from U.S. and Dutch researchers.

Nurses, pharmacists and other “smart shoppers” usually go for generic equivalents, which are often identical to the brand-name versions -- the same active ingredient in the same quantity. They will more often buy generic aspirin than brand name Bayer, or acetaminophen over Tylenol, or ibuprofen over Advil or Motrin.

The less a shopper knows about the ingredients in drugs, the more likely they are to buy brand name drugs, the study found.

Pharmacists are about 90 percent more likely to buy generics,” Jean-Pierre Dubé, one of the University of Chicago professors who conducted the study, told The Huffington Post. “If you take somebody with similar income, they’re 30 percent less likely to get the store brand.”

The study looked at Nielsen data from more than 77 million shopping trips in the U.S., carried out by more than 124,000 households.

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