AN EXPLORATORY ANALYSIS OF MARKETING-MIX IMPACT ON SUPPLY CHANNELS USED BY COMMUNITY PHARMACISTS ENGAGED IN HEALTHCARE SERVICES IN NIGERIA
Keywords:Pharmacy practice, Community pharmacists, Marketing-mix, Purchasing, Decision-making, Impact, low and middle-income countries, Outcome Research, Healthcare services, Nigeria
Objective: The main objective of this study was to evaluate the influence of marketing-mix concepts on the purchasing engagements of community pharmacists with supply channels in low and middle-income settings. Secondly, to use an Impact scale to measure the dominant marketing-mix factors that influence procurement decision-making practices.
Methods: A descriptive study that used self-administered questionnaires, distributed to community pharmacists from March to May 2021 in Southwestern, Nigeria. A mixed-method sampling technique was adopted. Ethical approval was given by the Ministry of health (HPRS/381/371). Study outcomes were compared against measures of the Impact scale. Descriptive and Inferential statistics were used to test the study hypotheses using SPSS-25. Significance was set at p<0.05
Results: The response rate was 79.6% representing 398 community pharmacists. Age of community pharmacists had significant association with price-sensitivity (p<0.01). Community pharmacists with more employees tended to be price-sensitive (p=0.003). Promotion variable had the highest influence (Mean score=2.73, SD=0.43, Impact-level=moderate), followed by Price (Mean score=2.65, SD=0.34, Impact-level=moderate), Place (Mean score=2.61, SD=0.51, Impact-level=moderate), Perception (Mean score=2.48, SD=0.42, Impact-level=low), and the least impactful was Product (Mean score=2.46, SD=0.41, Impact level=low). The study revealed an overall low-to-moderate involvement (Mean score=2.59, SD=0.42) and influence of marketing-mix on the level of engagement of community pharmacists with supply channels.
Conclusion: Findings suggest a shift of focus away from product-based considerations. Therefore, the study recommends a more balanced decision approach using an Impact rating scale. Improved focus on key priorities that can positively impact quality pharmaceutical care to the patient is advocated.
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