Does branding, customer behaviour and regulation influence the prescribing habits of Irish oncologists?

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Kenny, Kieran
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MBA in Marketing
Dublin Business School
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Purpose- The aim of this paper was to get a better understanding of how branding, customer behavior and regulation influence the prescribing habits of Irish Oncologists. Design/Methodology/Approach- Research data was collected from four semi-structured interviews around different Irish hospitals. The interviewees were all medical oncologists and were held for one hour intervals. The data that was collected was used to get an understanding on the oncologists perceptions of these influencers. Findings – The Results show that branded medicines impact what medicines are initiated for patient’s treatments. These medicines are influenced by parameters such as sales staff, marketing tools and corporate branding. In some cases the oncologists prescribe branded medicines due to experience and habit. The findings suggested a trend of “If the medicine is working, why change it?” The research also showed us that regulatory bodies in the Irish pharmaceutical are influencing what medicines are being prescribed due to price issues and generic substitution options. Originality/Value- Previous work had been focused on the advantages of branded medicines and how brand loyalty aided companies to maintain customers. No research suggested that brand loyalty and branding actually impacted on what medicines a cancer patient received. A lot of research had been done on the changing pharmaceutical industry due to regulations but no work shows us how influential regulatory bodies actually are when medicines gain access to markets. Author keywords: Branding, customer behaviour, regulation, pharmaceutical