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Factors influencing community pharmacists’ recommendation of over-the-counter medications in four Vietnam cities

Van De Tran
Valeria Valeryevna Dorofeeva
Ekaterina Efimovna Loskutova
Tatyana Petrovna Lagutkina
Irina Vladimirovna Kosova


Purpose: To determine the factors influencing the recommendation of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines to patients by community pharmacists in Vietnam.

Methods: The study was conducted at community pharmacies in Vietnam, from June 10 to October 30, 2017. A final data set for analysis of 422 questionnaires was completed by community pharmacists from four different cities in Vietnam. Exploratory factor analysis was used to determine potential factors underlying a set of 20 questions related to the research topic. The association among the obtained factors and between the obtained factors and the pharmacists’ demographics were determined by applying the Mann-Whitney U test and the Kruskal-Wallis test.

Results: Using factor analysis the current study identified five factors, accounting for 61.53 % of the variance of the study, including customer, economic, professional, brand, and product. The product factor was found to have the most significant influence on pharmacists’ recommendation of all the factors (p < 0.001).

Conclusion: There are five major factors influencing the decision-making process for the selection of OTC medicines by community pharmacists in Vietnam. These findings could be useful for pharmaceutical firms in the adaptation of product development and pharmaceutical marketing.

Keywords: Community pharmacist, Over-the-counter medicine, Exploratory factor analysis, Medicine recommendation