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Macit C, Taner N, Mercanoglu G and Mercanoglu F
Like in other industries, the competition among companies in the pharma industry is high. Therefore pharmaceutical companies have to design their strategies in order to achieve competitive advantage. Brand loyalty is a powerful tool in the development of pharmaceutical brands. Physicians play major role in the selection of drugs to consume and can also be considered as the consumer. This descriptive study examines the factors that influence physicians’ choices of medication for their patients. Data was collected using a survey administered to specialists and trainees from Cardiology Department. Total 18 physicians participated in the study. Most of the respondents (85%) declared the scientific literature regarding the drug as their first priority in prescribing. Almost half of the respondents (46%) declared the published clinical trial results as a primary source of information about the launch of new drug. With respect to the inclusion of a newly launched drug in the daily prescribing routine, 85% of the respondents tended to prescribe a new drug after the publication of clinical trials. A vast majority of the participants indicated the patients’ source of payment as a major factor for their preferences; meanwhile 92% of them also emphasized the therapeutic equivalency of the drug for their preferences. More than half of the participants (>70%) tended to prescribe original drugs to patients having chronic disease/comorbidity and special insurance coverage and/or self-payment. Regarding the physicians’ familiarity to the original proprietary names, more than half of the respondents correctly predicted the original proprietary names. This study reflects the physician’s perspective for the establishment of brand loyalty. From the physicians’ standpoint belief in brand is crucial for the creation of brand loyalty and the key for building up trust is the scientific data regarding the effectiveness and safety of the drug obtained from large-scale clinical trials.