SALE OF OVER THE COUNTER _OTC_ DRUGS VIA POST OFFICES-A CONSUMER PERCEPTION

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SALE OF OVER THE COUNTER _OTC_ DRUGS VIA POST OFFICES-A CONSUMER PERCEPTION Powered By Docstoc
					         INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL in Management (IJARM), ISSN 0976 –
International Journal of Advanced Research OF ADVANCED RESEARCH
6324 (Print), ISSN 0976 – 6332 (Online), Volume 3, Issue 2, July-December (2012)
                            IN MANAGEMENT (IJARM)

ISSN 0976 - 6324 (Print)
ISSN 0976 - 6332 (Online)
Volume 3, Issue 2, July-December (2012), pp. 63-68
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  SALE OF OVER THE COUNTER (OTC) DRUGS VIA POST
         OFFICES-A CONSUMER PERCEPTION
                                    Dr. Rajesh Kanthe
       Associate Professor, Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University, IMRDA, Sangli.
                            Email: drrajeshkanthe@gmail.com
                                  Ms vaishali P.Pawar
        Research Student, Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University, IMRDA, Sangli.
                                    Rajendra Mohite
        Research Student, Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University, IMRDA, Sangli.



ABSTRACT

        Rural India and modern India put their thrust on self medication in treating minor
ailments not as like in Europeans who put their trust in the neighborhood pharmacist, North
Americans rely more on the advice of doctors. In countries where healthcare infrastructures
and economies are developing, opportunities exist to lessen the considerable burden on
doctor and help governments reduce their healthcare expenditure. Self medication using over
the counter products in India is seen to be common. OTC Products Medico-marketing, is the
business of advertising or otherwise promoting the sale of OTC pharmaceuticals or drugs.
Evidences show that marketing practices can negatively affect both patients and the health
care profession. The small towns and rural parts of India do not have adequate medicine
facility and treating minor ailment is a costlier business for the large section of society
.secondly availability of even OTC drugs which otherwise are easily available in small
chemists and general stores are also not available to the poor section of the society and the
rural masses where chemist shops and general store are meager or they do not sale OTC
Products for minor ailments. This paper is attempt to craft a new marketing process of
involving a network of post-offices in selling of OTC products to the area wherever the
postmen goes.

Keywords: Post-offices, government, Self medication, over the counter drugs, healthcare
marketing, minor ailments.



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International Journal of Advanced Research in Management (IJARM), ISSN 0976 –
6324 (Print), ISSN 0976 – 6332 (Online), Volume 3, Issue 2, July-December (2012)

INTRODUCTION

        Among major systems of medicine in India that have official recognition and support
allophthy treatment dominates and in minor ailments OTC allopathy Products dominates,
though ayurveda, unani, siddha, and homeopathy are also used by a few. This is because of
the speed with which chemical drugs used in OTC allopathy alleviate symptoms and enable
the patient to resume work1. Employment for the urban and rural poor is mainly casual and
on daily wages. Quick fixes prevent loss of even a day’s work and income due to illness.
Hence in cases of minor ailments OTC products are the only source as low cost treatment and
avoid long treatment of Doctors for majority of patients in the research study area. Higher
medical professional charges coupled with excessive desire for self-medication and
increasing faith in traditional medicines, India’s over the counter drug sale has grown around
10% in the last 2 years, leaving USA and China much behind, where OTC drug sale is
estimated at 4% to 5% respectively7. Increasing urbanization has changed people's lifestyles2
and has led to increases in lifestyle diseases. Hand in hand, improving literacy rates coupled
with strong growth in income levels have led to rising health awareness among consumers
with change in retail formats like chain chemists and shopping malls promoting OTC
products like FMCG. These are some of the reasons for the expansion of the OTC market. It
is expected that this trend will continue and companies will launch products targeting this
category and the overall OTC segment is expected to register sustained growth in the near
future.3 In addition, the tendency of self-medication is furthered by consumer deciding what
he needs and having a better control over what he needs be it a grocery item or a medicine.
The very fact that OTC outlets are in India a novelty would attract a great deal of attention
from the youth. But Still The Poor And Rural Area Where The Stores Are Not Possible And
Health Care Can Be Costlier The Chance Of A Delivery System By The Initiative Of
Government Would Be Possible Making Use Of Indian Post Offices In Some Towns As
Well. This Is An Attempt To Understand The Consumers Opinion On What They Feel If A
Postmen Of Post Office Will Sell OTC Products At Their Doorstep to treat minor ailments.
The study in confined to Miraj city and experiences with the larger picture and thus enable
him to find the deviation (if any) in the behavioral and attitudinal patterns of the consumers in
OTC Product shopping and stocking at home to use in minor ailments like
cold,cough,pain,stomach ache and pains.. Over the Counter sales is not restricted to
medicines and drugs but covers a larger ambit of household goods and remedies.4 What most
of consumers do when catch a sudden cold or get a headache? they will search in medicine
box for a pill of No cold or Aspirin. Exactly most of people will do the same because now the
trend is expanding towards the most inexpensive form of health care which is self-medication
with over the counter (OTC) medicines.5 So increase demand leads to increase in competition
which in turn leads to increase in need of differentiation in between various over the counter
products. Currently pains, cough, colds, hyperacidity, minor topical infections and
indigestion are major OTC categories. Emerging categories due to change in lifestyle include
cuts, wounds, burns, muscle pains, sprains, diarrhea and constipation.

CHANGING BUSINESS LANDSCAPE

        Pharmaceutical marketplace is growing significantly due to the getting old population,
increasing income level, and higher awareness of new products etc.India has witnessed a
boom in organized retail trade in the last decade. The retail format, which has shown the
maximum growth among all, is the multipurpose shopping center or the mall. It is well know

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International Journal of Advanced Research in Management (IJARM), ISSN 0976 –
6324 (Print), ISSN 0976 – 6332 (Online), Volume 3, Issue 2, July-December (2012)

that this format is a favorite hang around in of the consumers in the current generation and it
is also likely that OTC outlets are an epicenter for evolving an altogether new consumption
culture within the study area. Therefore, it is of utmost interest to the retailers and
pharmaceutical companies and academia equally to understand the consumer dynamics
behind this newly evolving consumption culture. This paper takes a look at the OTC drug
marketing at a local level with special focus on FMCG markets6. The first section deals with
changing consumer and environment which is followed by a brief introduction to OTC
segment. Section TWO deals with a small pilot study done by the author and the last section
gives the holistic approach which Indian OTC drug marketing firms can adopt to create
awareness about health and wellbeing using post offices resources’ to market their OTC
products directly to the consumers. Though self-administration of treatment with over-the-
counter drugs relies on the patient's judgment, which is supplemented by the information on
the label, for correct diagnosis of the disorder or symptom. In general, these products pose
less dangers of misdiagnosis. Possibility is that in future OTC drugs can be sold through post
offices and postmen.

OTC MARKET IN INDIA

        In 2005 the Indian OTC segment was Rs 4500 crore it could be considered as Rest
17000 crores if cosmeceuticals & neutraceuticals are also included. The CAGR for Indian
OTC markets is currently hovering between 12 and 15% and this is much faster than OTC
market growth of most development countries. The OTC Market in India in 2007 will be
around Rs. 6000 & 20000 crores. As per Euro RSCG India, OTC market is hovering around
Rs. 2800 crores. 8The global OTC market is projected to be USD 75 billion with a cumulative
annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.5%, which will make it 82 B$ in 2007.In Indian Markets
ethical drugs are also sold without a prescription due to poor monitoring and control by FDA.
Self medication tendency is traditionally very high due to the high availability of traditional
medicines, the awareness and acceptance of which is very high among the public. (adex -
division of TAM Media Research).

OTC MEDICINES

(ref: http://www.indiaoppi.com/IndiaOTCpharmaProfile2011.pdf)

  Category            2005          2006           2007          2008         2009
                                                       (Sales in US$ Million)
  OTC sales -        1243.4       1371.4           1491.0        1638.9       1813.4
  India
  Analgesics         178.8        192.9         201.7       223.4       258.6
  Cough, Cold &      227.2        250.7         269.7       295.1       318.1
  Allergy
  Gastrointestinal   231.4        256.7         281.0       301.2       332.6
  Vitamins,          447.1        494.3         538.6       583.0       634.5
  Minerals &
  Supplements
  Dermatologicals 144.1           160.3         181.9       212.4       236.5
  Lifestyle OTCs     14.8         16.4          18.1        23.9        33.1
        Source: Nicholas Hall & Company, India, DB6 2010 – 1US$ = INR.46.54
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International Journal of Advanced Research in Management (IJARM), ISSN 0976 –
6324 (Print), ISSN 0976 – 6332 (Online), Volume 3, Issue 2, July-December (2012)

The market is growing at 18 per cent annually, almost 1.5 times the rate of the FMCG sector
Faith in homeopathy and ayurveda is increasing as more organized players get into the fray,
Increase in disposable incomes, coupled with an increase in lifestyle-related diseases, is
spurring demand for such products and the most important factor is rising fees of medical
professionals is prompting more people to self-medicate resulting into new strategies by
companies to reach their consumers as early as possible. So the attempts in this pilot study to
figure out whether it is possible to sale the OTC products along with your letter, money order
with the post men.

OBJECTIVE
1. To inquire about Opinion of Medical Professionals on sale of OTC Drugs through postmen
2. To Seek Opinion of customers on sale of OTC Drugs through postmen.
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
1. Collect secondary data on marketing of OTC medicines from books, magazines, research
articles, and websites
2. Survey of Consumers, Doctors through a structured questionnaire being administered to
the respondents
SAMPLING
1. Sampling unit:
• Experienced Doctors (General practitioners as well as consultants) selected from different
parts of miraj and Consumers selected from different parts of Miraj
2. Sample size:
• Doctors – 50
• Consumers – 100
3. Sampling procedure:
STUDY LIMITATIONS
• Only confined to miraj city, so not representative of entire country
DATA ANALYSIS
               Doctor’s Opinion on Increased Level of Relying on OTC Drugs
            Docs Opinion                      No. of docs out of 100
                                               Yes                         No
           Advertisement           77        77.00%         23           23.00%
          Doctors Distrust         71        71.00%         29           29.00%
          Easily Available         65        65.00%         35           35.00%
             Educated              65        65.00%         35           35.00%
            Customers
             Effective             76        76.00%           24        24.00%
             Low Cost              68        68.00%           32        32.00%
          Time Saving         72         72.00%              28     28.00%


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International Journal of Advanced Research in Management (IJARM), ISSN 0976 –
6324 (Print), ISSN 0976 – 6332 (Online), Volume 3, Issue 2, July-December (2012)

The above table and chart presents the Doctors opinion on consumer relying on OTC drugs. It
was found that the doctors surveyed were in favor of using OTC drugs in minor ailments
where doctor’s involvement is not required. it was found that almost 65% to 78% of doctors
opined that the consumer’s dependence on OTC drugs is increased.

                     Doctor’s Opinion on Sale of OTC Drugs by Postmen
                      Doctors Opinion            YES
                    Yes                             24         24.00%
                    No                              61         61.00%
                    Don’t know                      15         15.00%
                    Total                          100        100.00%

The above table and chart represents the response of doctors on sale of OTC drugs by
postmen. It was found that 24% doctors in were positive in promoting the OTC drugs as by
postmen and making products available, affordable and Creating awareness through
aggressive advertisements. Hence doctors across the strata were against promoting OTC
drugs as FMCG products.
                     Consumers treating minor ailments with OTC Drugs.
        Ailments                 OTC               Home remedy               Total
        Headache            68        68%         32       32%         100       100%
          Fever             65       64.00%       35      34.00%       100       100%
       Cough/Cold           71        71%         29       29%         100       100%
         Acidity            55        55%         45       45%         100       100%
           Pain             66       66.00%       34       34%         100       100%
        digestive           56        56%         44       44%         100       100%
      Skin Disorders        71       71.00%       29       29%         100       100%

The above table shows Consumers response on minor ailments, it was found that the all
Consumers age; gender strata were overwhelmingly supporting the self medication process.
on of the surveyed Consumers opined that they take OTC drugs without doctors permission.
Thus it was revealed that use of OTC drugs in minor ailment as first line of defense is
common phenomenon in consumers for self medication.

            Consumers’ Opinion on Direct Selling of OTC drugs By Postmen
                  Freq of Clinical      Most      Somewhat   Least
                                                                        Total
                   Stores*/ Area        likely    likely     likely
                 Urban                 29.57%     39.13%     31.30%     100%
                 Semi-Urban            57.26%     26.97%     15.77%     100%
                 Rural                 6. 82%     45.45%     47.73%     100%
                         Total           100         100       100

The above exhibit presents the Frequency of Clinical Stores visit. It reveals that in urban area
29.57% is most likely, 57.26% is somewhat likely and 6.82% is least likely. In Semi-Urban
areas 39.13% is most likely, 26.97% is somewhat likely and 45.45% is least likely. In Rural

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International Journal of Advanced Research in Management (IJARM), ISSN 0976 –
6324 (Print), ISSN 0976 – 6332 (Online), Volume 3, Issue 2, July-December (2012)

area 31.30% is most likely, 15.77% is somewhat likely and 47.73% is least likely. It shows
that most likely is higher in Semi-Urban area then in Rural area and in Urban area.
Somewhat likely is higher in Urban area then in Semi-Urban area and lastly in Rural area.
Least likely is higher in Rural area then in Semi-urban area and lastly in Urban area. Thus the
frequency of Clinical stores visit is higher in Semi-Urban area. it shows that the Consumers
from semi urban area prefer to shop at clinical stores inside the hospitals even for OTC drugs.

CONCLUSION

        In this growing market of OTC Products companies are trying there their best
weapons to market their products through innovative marketing strategies. it is crystal clear
that there would be number of possible measures which can improve the market share .
Consumer who consume OTC Products available to Counters freely and either switch from
the existing brand or continue to earlier brand. a marketing strategy using post office and
postman can also be a implemented as a channel o marketing OTC drugs to reduce the,
affordability, accessibility and availability of OTC products for consumers as and when
required .thus reducing the healthcare expenses in treating minor ailments and secondly will
generate a profit making avenue for department of post.

REFRENCES

     1. Philip Kotler, Kevin Lane Keller, Abraham Koshy and Mithleshwar Jha:Marketing
        Management, 13/e, Pearson Education, 2009

     2. Subbarao Chagmati, (2007) “Pharmaceutical Marketing in India” concept strategy
        cases Pharma Book Syndicate – Hyderabad Published 2008

     3. Mickey Smith, 2000 “Pharmaceutical Marketing in 21st Century’ Viva Books Pvt.
        Ltd., New Delhi. – 2001

     4. Anshal Kausherh 2006”Pharmaceutical Marketing, Emerging Trends “ICFAI
        University ICFAI Press,Hydrabad 2006

     5. Dr.Atmaram Pawar 2007.A handbook on community Pharmacists (Exclusively for
        Chemists & Druggists) - Career publications, Nasik.May2007

     6. Ajith Paninchukunnath OTC Drug Marketing – Global Trends and Indian
         Experiences. dspace.iimk.ac.in/bitstream/2259/350/1/363-370.pdf

     7. Madrid A, (2005), Sensory Evaluation- More than just food, ESN Seminar, May 25- 26

     8. Worthington J. (2007), Let’s Talk about Sense Appeal, Available at:http// www.
        Pharmaquality.com (Accessed on26th September, 2009)




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