Assessing Consumer Preference using Community Pharmacy Preference Evaluation Questionnaire (ComPETe): A Pilot Survey in a Malaysia City
Purpose: To assess the consumer preference for community pharmacy (CP) for filling prescription, and purchasing over-the-counter (OTC) and health products among customers frequenting eight departmental stores located in a Malaysian city.
Method: A cross-sectional study was conducted in the city of Wakaf Bharu, Kelantan, Malaysia. A total of 400 respondents in the area were randomly selected to participate in the 14-item Community Pharmacy Preference Evaluation Questionnaire (ComPETe). The results were then subjected to data analysis.
Results: A total of 198 respondents returned the questionnaire but only 120 respondents completely filled in them. Majority of the respondents was between the age of 18 and 30 years (42.4 %), female (55.0 %) and married (66.7 %). Most of them (90.8 %) agreed that location is an important criterion for choosing a CP. About 62 and 56 % of the respondents went to the same preferred CP and at least once a month, respectively. Interestingly, customers with a monthly income of <RM 1000 (equivalent to USD 280) and married were more likely to visit the same preferred CP (p < 0.05). More than half of the respondents preferred heavily subsidized medical treatment for minor ailments from government healthcare institutions. For OTC products, preference among consumers was almost the same among CPs and local stores. With regard to health supplements and screening test kits, most respondents preferred to go to CPs.
Conclusion: The respondents showed variability in their preference for CPs. The findings about consumer preference for CPs and health products should facilitate the process of launching a successful CP establishment.
Keywords: Consumer Satisfaction, Community Pharmacy Preference, Prescription Filling, Over-the-counter Products, Financial Management