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TAF Prev Med Bull. 2010; 9(1): 1-6

Effect of Promotional Strategies of Pharmaceutical Companies on Doctors' Prescription Pattern in South East Nigeria

Uchenna Ijoma, Ikenna Onwuekwe, Obinna Onodugo, Emmanuel Aguwa, Emmanuel Ejim, Cajetan Onyedum, Linus Onah, Emecheta Okwudire, Geraldine Ugwuonah.


AIM: Drug promotions use multifaceted approaches incorporating hospital and office detailing by marketing representatives. Very few studies exist on their influence on doctors’ prescription pattern in Nigeria. We examined the scope and effects of marketing strategies on the prescription habits of doctors in Enugu, South East Nigeria.
METHOD: This was a cross-sectional study; 210 self-administered structured questionnaires were distributed among doctors in six major hospitals in Enugu. Ethical approval was obtained from the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital Ethics Committee, Enugu.
RESULTS: There was 88% response rate, with more males than females (M:F= 2.2: 1). Most were residents-in-training/ house officers (69%) while consultants were 7.1% of the group. Stickers, drug presentations/ launches and personal souvenirs were most commonly employed marketing strategies. Most doctors (60%) attending a drug presentation felt influenced. While 87.5% appreciated the benefits of marketing strategies, about 70% would consider patients’ socioeconomic status before prescribing. Continuing medical education and stiff competition were reasons adduced for the marketing strategies.
CONCLUSION: Pharmaceutical companies in Nigeria adopt varied strategies to influence doctors’ prescriptions. Often this aim is achieved. The practice is accepted by most who nevertheless will consider other factors when deciding on what to prescribe.

Key words: Doctors, Prescriptions, Marketing, Nigeria

Article Language: Turkish English

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