Title page for ETD etd-11052012-160241

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Tolken, Reinhard
Email tolkenrein@mweb.co.za
URN etd-11052012-160241
Document Title An explorative study of consumers' attitudes towards generic medications
Degree Master of Arts
Department Psychology
Advisor Name Title
Ms I Lynch Supervisor
  • generic medication
  • generics
  • original medication
  • attitudes
  • Elaboration Likelihood Model
  • ELM
  • Living Standards Measure
  • LSM
  • consumer psychology
  • consumer attitudes
Date 2012-04-17
Availability unrestricted
Objective: To explore consumer attitudes towards generic medication.

Methods: A quantitative method was used in this explorative study to assess consumer attitudes towards generic medication. A survey design was utilized. A questionnaire was devised that comprised four sections which assessed attitudes towards generic medication. A Living Standards Measure (LSM) assessed socio-economic status. Convenience sampling resulted in the recruitment of 266 respondents. Statistical analysis of the data included non-parametric (Chi-square and correlation analysis) and parametric statistics (factor analysis, MANOVA and regression analysis).

Results: More than half the respondents (54.8%) report preference for original medication over generic medication. A large percentage believes there is a place for generic medication (88.9%). The majority (95%) indicate they would purchase generic medication if it proves to be just as effective as the original product. More respondents (91.2%) trust physician over pharmacist recommendations to purchase generics. More than half the respondents (57.9%) would purchase generic medication if recommended by friends but they trust their family members more (68.6%). The findings indicate that respondents generally hold favourable attitudes towards the efficacy of generic medication despite the fact that slightly more than half prefer original medication. Respondents indicate that pricing and branding influence their attitudes towards generic medication.

Chi-square analyses indicated that more men would choose original medication and more women would choose generic medication. Age differences revealed that the older consumer is more likely to choose generic medication. White respondents indicated a preference for generic medication, while Black respondents indicated that they prefer original medication. Middle-class (LSM 5-8) and middle-upper class (LSM 9) respondents prefer generic medication, while upper class (LSM 10) respondents prefer original medication. The correlation analysis found no significant relationship between medical aid status and original or generic medication choice.

A principle component factor analysis produced nine factors based on the items in the questionnaire, with only eight factors being subjected to further testing. These eight factors were subjected to a MANOVA and tested against gender and race with no significant differences found between men and women and between Black and White respondents. These eight factors were also subjected to further testing by means of regression analysis where it was found that three of the eight factors were statistically significant. These three factors can be productively explored in future research.

Implications: This explorative study focused on consumer attitudes towards generic medication, however, it was identified that the consumer valued their physician’s recommendation for type of medication. For future studies, it would be beneficial to explore medical personnel (physician and pharmacist) attitudes towards generic medication as these individuals play an important role in product choice.

Copyright © 2011, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria

Please cite as follows:

Tolken, R 2011, An explorative study of consumers' attitudes towards generic medications, MA dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-11052012-160241 / >


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