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CNN — It is a question all of us face in the medicine aisles of our supermarket or pharmacy: should we fork over more to buy a brand name product or should we get the generic instead? We have the surprising results of a new study about our healthcare buying habits. Are we making the right choices?
A study found that the average consumer chooses the more expensive option and that actually isn't the best thing to do. In fact, they found we are wasting some real money.
The study was done by the University of Chicago and Tilburg University in the Netherlands. Researchers looked at Nielsen data from 125,000 houses, tracking their purchases on pharmacy items and food. The store brands that were purchased cost, on average, half of what name brand products do.
Researchers said their data showed it was the least informed consumers who usually reach for the name brand products, thinking they would sacrifice quality if they bought the generic, when that isn't always the case. For example, researchers found nine out of ten pharmacists and doctors buy generic over name brand aspirin. in a comparison between Bayer, Aspirin and the CVS version, they found the same dosage and the same active ingredient.
They also found Americans buying name brands are wasting about $44-billion dollars every year.
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