An investigation of consumption patterns and consumer satisfaction with the provision of pharmaceutical products in the Egyptian market : an empirical study
This study is an empirical investigation of consumer satisfaction with the provision of medicine in Egypt. One way to look at consumer protection in the medicine market is to explore consumer satisfaction with the provision of medicine. A further way is to investigate the various consumption patterns of medicines (in terms of expenditures). Both ways are combined together in this investigation to gain an insight into the protection provided to the Egyptian consumers in the medicine market. The findings are then used to make recommendations in order to improve medicine provision and protection in Egypt. In addition, the study aims to contribute theoretically by presenting a conceptual model of consumer satisfaction. Further, the work tries to determine the components of consumer satisfaction with respect to the underlying factors and the degree of satisfaction experienced by the Egyptian consumers. The rationale of the second objective of this study was to investigate whether consumer segments exist in the Egyptian market on the basis of consumer satisfaction with the provision of medicine products with particular demographic and socio-economic characteristics. Ho such clear segments emerged. It was hypothesized that: (1) there are no significant differences among Egyptian consumers with different demographic and socio-economic characteristics on the basis of their satisfaction with the provision of medicine products and (2) there is no significant relationship between the consumption patterns of medicines (in terms of expenditure) and consumer demographic and socio-economic (in terms of sex, age, income, education, occupation, marital status, family size). The primary data required was collected via personal interviews using a structure questionnaire. ' Information was collected on consumer attitudes, opinions and demography / socioeconomy. A random multi-stage area sample of 1300 consumers was chosen. Respondents were selected from two cities, Cairo and Giza. From that sample, 938 usable cases of data were obtained and analysed. Two scales of measurement are employed in this study. First, an interval scale to measure consumer satisfaction on a set of variables and statements as well as to investigate consumption patterns of medicines. Second, a nominal scale was used to record information on consumers' demographics and socio-economics. The reliability of the satisfaction scale employed in this study was statistically tested using Cronbach's Alpha. In addition, five different types of analysis are used to achieve the research objectives (i.e., factor analysis, cluster analysis, discriminant analysis, ANOVA, multiple regression analysis). Factor analysis is used to analyse the set of satisfaction variables to determine the underlying factors of consumer satisfaction. The degree of satisfaction with those factors is also calculated to determine the extent to which consumers are satisfied with each factor. It was found that packaging and labelling contribute most to the variance explained and are the factors with which consumers are most satisfied. Consumers are least satisfied with medicine price and availability of medicines. Cluster analysis is utilized in this study to explore the similarities and dissimilarities between the Egyptian consumers segments on the basis of their satisfaction with respect to the twelve factors identified and the statements. However, this analysis did not bring out segments. This was confirmed by discriminant analysis. ANOVA was therefore employed to investigate the similarities and dissimilarities among consumers with different demographic and socio-economic characteristics. Multiple regression analysis was used to determine the relationship between consumption patterns (dependent variable) and consumer demographic and socioeconomic. The study found that sex, age, income, education, family size and marital status do affect satisfaction with, and consumption of, medicine products. In addition, the research hypotheses are tested via ANOVA (F Ratio) and T tests. The study makes a contribution to knowledge in three areas, theoretical, empirical and practical. The main theoretical contribution is the building of a conceptual model of consumer satisfaction, while the empirical contribution is that this type of study has not been carried out before into consumer satisfaction with medicines in a developing country. Finally, the practical contribution is the significant implications arising from the work for all the players in the medicine arena, especially the Egyptian government, since, the study reveals that the Egyptian consumers feel that the provision of medicine is less than satisfactory. The thesis concludes with recommendations for further consumer behaviour research, empirical studies of consumer satisfaction and actions which need to be taken by the Egyptian government, particularly to improve the medicine provision situation in Egypt and provide the Egyptian consumer with adequate protection.