Factors Influencing Prescribe Branded Drugs by Physicians: An Empirical Study in Sri Lanka
The pharmaceutical industry in Sri Lanka has been one of the dominant industries, yet it depends more on customers and medical practitioners although the customer (patients) is the end user who depends on the decisions that are made by the doctors. The pharmaceutical industry, having understood the interaction between the patients and the doctors, keeps more focus on doctors as they desire to promote their products through the medical practitioners. The pharmaceutical industry reaches its desired targets using specific strategies and promotional activities through doctors targeting the end users. The present study tries to understand the different strategies used by the pharmaceuticals industry. In achieving the desired objectives, the study used Medical Detailing (MD), Providing Scientific Literatures (SL), Sponsoring Overseas Conferences (SPON), Continuous Medical Education (CME) and Distribution of the Physicians Samples (SAM) as the variables. The samples of 130 physicians were selected from three different districts; Colombo, Gampaha and Kalutara. The techniques of the descriptive inferential statistical method are used in analysing the data. The main technique used in the study is a questionnaire with a Likert scale. However, owing to the unexpected situation that arose in the country, only 108 questionnaires were responded to by the doctors and accordingly the study was conducted. The findings revealed that MD, SL, SPON, CME and SAM are all highly impacted by doctors in recommending the branded drugs in Sri Lanka. Further indications are that if drugs are locally manufactured, it is required to maintain standards that are equivalent to international standards. If not locally manufactured drugs will not be able to attract doctors in the field. The managerial implications that can be received in this empirical study is , though the product/s is unique using medical detailing, scientific literature, sponsor for overseas conferences, continuous medical education and samples distribution are integral in marketing strategy in order to achieve the marketing objectives.
Keywords: Pharmaceutical Industry, Branded Drugs, Descriptive Statistics, Correlation, Coefficients