تأثير العينات الطبية المجانية على سلوك الأطباء في جنوب الضفة الغربية
Free medical samples effect on the behavior of doctors in the southern West Bank
بسام محمد يونس ابو جحيشه
Bassam Mohammed Younes Abu Jheishah
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Background: Pharmaceutical companies introduced the idea of free samples with a view to promotion and marketing of their products. The promotion is an effective tool which is used for introducing products to the clients. The drug companies are spending huge amounts of money on promotion. Promotion strategy has effects directly on the consumers despite the fact that in pharmaceutical advertising the efforts are directed toward the service providers and not to the medicine consumers. Therefore this research looked at the effect of free samples on the behavior of doctors in dispensing of medicines. Methodology: This study aimed to identify the effect of free medical samples on the behavior of physicians in the southern West Bank, according to the following variables: gender, age, years of experience, the country where he studied, specialty, level of education, and the workplace. The study sample consisted of 269 randomly selected physicians from all doctors practicing medicine in Hebron and Bethlehem. The response rate was 81.8%. A descriptive analytical design was used to achieve the goal of the study. A questionnaire based on the literature review was developed and tested for validity by panel of experts and internal consistency by calculating Cronbach alpha which was 0.74 Results: The study findings that the respondents have average estimated degrees (69.75%) about the activities undertaken by pharmaceutical companies for introducing its brands. And the overall score for physicians’ behaviors regarding drug prescriptions was average (64.25%). And, there were seven statements with high percentages, eight items average and one paragraph low. And the overall score for the free medical samples effect on thebehavior of doctors was average (65%). And it ranged between 29.25%-72.50%. And findings that there were no statistically significant differences at α≤0.05 in the effect of free samples on the doctors behavior in the South of West-Bank related to the following variables: sex, age, years of experience, qualifications, country of study, specialization,work place, the number of monthly visits by Representatives, and the amount of promotion activities practiced by pharmaceutical companies. And there were significant differences at α ≤0.05 in the impact of free samples on doctors behaviors related to type of company that provides pharmaceutical propaganda, and to type of promotion activities. Recommendations: The study recommends that must educate physicians to the importance of adherence to biomedical ethics. And the physicians should participate in medical conferences (update) information in the pharmaceutical industry to enable them to apply it in the treatment of patients Also recommends to create mechanisms that shall enable and motivate physicians to follow-up their patients, especially those receiving new medications. And to motivate physicians to access and review research studies on pharmaceutical products and their effectiveness. And to create and adopt policies to regulate the relationship between doctors and pharmaceutical companies by the Ministry of Health.