Tag Archives: medicine

Online pharmacy: customer profiling

DOI: 10.2478/amma-2021-0031

Introduction: Nearly three out of four European citizens purchase goods online. The main advantages of using an online pharmacy are lower prices and convenience. In addition, patients appreciate a higher degree of privacy and access to a wider selection of health products. Study shows that the number of online users is on the rise in major countries like the USA, EU member states or India.
Methods: The study is based on data collected in April 2020 at the country level (Romania) from a sample of 789 adults over the age of 18, using CATI. A simple random sampling procedure was applied, with a confidence interval of 3.5% and a confidence level of 95%.
Results: About 17.7% of Romanians have purchased healthcare products through online pharmacies or drugstores, of those 60% are women, between 30 – 64 years old (84 %), have a monthly income of more than 2700 lei (90%), and a university degree (76%). The most common reasons for choosing an online pharmacy are the ability to compare prices, shop quickly, and have prompt access to items and information, together with a wider range of products.
Conclusions: Respondents’ motivation to use online pharmacies appears to be more related to the benefits of the online media, rather than to some unmet needs in brick-and-mortar pharmacies. Search capabilities, access to more information, price comparison, as well as a larger range of products and availability 24/7 are some reasons why patients utilise online pharmacies to purchase medicines.

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Factors Influencing the Choice of a Pharmacy in Romania: Comparation between Studies Performed in 2012 and 2020

DOI: 10.2478/amma-2020-0029

The main factors perceived by patients as important in selecting a pharmacy were studied for many years. Selected studies mentioned primarily factors such as location, pharmacist competence and attitude, pharmacy services and premiums, and prices. We compared the results from our study in June 2012 with the results of the most recent study conducted in April 2020 focusing on the main factors influencing the patient’s option for a specific pharmacy. Respondents were asked an open question about what is the most important factor they consider when choosing a pharmacy and then answers were grouped into main categories. The urban population has been considered for both studies. The results tell us that the factors influencing the choice of a pharmacy remained unchanged over the time: i) prices, ii) availability of medicine, iii) professionalism of the pharmacist and iv) pharmacy proximity is the most mentioned by our respondents in both studies. However, the rank between these factors changed. Prices remain the top factor while the Availability of medicine (products) has been overcome by the Professionalism of the pharmacist (Attitude of the pharmacist) and Proximity. Using the logistic regression and Odds Ratio, we tried to identify socio-demographic segments significantly associated with these factors. Persons with low income are very likely to indicate Price as the most important factor in choosing a pharmacy in 2012 (OR = 2.088, p=0.018), while respondents aged 65 years and older are more likely not to indicate Price as the most important factor compared with other age groups, in both 2012 and 2020 studies (OR = 0.4, p=0.009, respective OR= 0.325, p=0.010). For this type of respondent, 65 years old and above, the attitude of the pharmacist is the most important factor influencing their choice of a pharmacy in 2020, while products availability has been the most frequent answer for this segment back in 2012. Results in Romania are similar to the ones collected from other countries as reported by other studies. However, particularities of the local market and regulations are influencing the ranking.

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