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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/4272

Title: The Promotion of Prescription Medicines by Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives and Its Effects on Health Professionals in the Kumasi Metropolis.
Authors: Adu Appiah-Kubi, Adu
Issue Date: 13-Jun-2011
Abstract: Contrary to over-the-counter (OTC) drugs that can be obtained without prescription, prescription drugs are licensed medicines that are legislation-regulated in Ghana. In other words, consumers pay for prescription drugs, but the health professionals control its access. Therefore, health professionals in Ghana are the primary targets for the promotional tactics of drug companies. There is no evidence from any part of Ghana that has established that health professionals knowingly or intentionally compromise their patients' care as a result of external influence. However, the question remains whether the current promotional tactics employed by pharmaceutical representatives in the Kumasi metropolis mobilized any influence on the patterns of prescriptions by health professionals. Or whether there have been prescriptions of medicines in the Kumasi metropolis by health professionals based on considerations that go beyond scientific knowledge and patient needs. The research looked at the extent of interactions health professionals (prescribers) engage in with Pharmaceutical representatives, the appropriateness of the sorts of gifts prescribers have received from Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives and whether those gifts have any influence on prescription of a drug to a patients. The analysis was based on a survey of health professionals conducted at three different public hospitals in the Kumasi metropolis namely; Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Manhyia Polyclinic and Suntreso Government Hospital. One hundred medical professionals comprising Medical Officers, Pharmacists and Medical Assistants were involved. The research showed that Pharmaceutical Sales Representative detailing has become prevalent in hospitals in the Kumasi Metropolis with these drug Representative visiting a health professional (prescriber) at least once a week. These frequent visits are meant to build a relationship with these health professionals. However, health professionals (prescribers) in the Kumasi metropolis do not rely on the drug information provided by the drug representatives. Most prescribers feel the Representative are gaining significant influence on their social lives because of their preference when they meet them “over drinks” after or in-between work. In spite of that, health professionals in Kumasi generally still have a positive attitude towards the interactions with the pharmaceutical sales Representative. In addition, health professionals have received drug samples, medical reference books, vouchers and branded items (Pens, note pens, shirts and calendars) as gifts from the drug company’s representatives. Others have also received other financial benefits with just five percent acknowledging receipt of cash rewards. Furthermore, the prescribers consider the gifts received as appropriate. Finally, this research showed a strong correlation between receiving drug industry benefits and favouring specific products in hospitals in Kumasi. Health workers in Kumasi admitted that their interactions with the Representative might have had influence on their prescription but somehow did not feel obliged because of the gifts received.
Description: A Thesis submitted to the Institute of Distance Learning, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Commonwealth Executive Masters in Public Administration, June, 2011
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/4272
Appears in Collections:Distance Learning

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