How ethics influence intentions to buy counterfeit drugs: perceptions of policymakers, community pharmacists and consumers in Sudan
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Objectives The ethical attitudes of consumers have been widely explored in the literature as a key factor influencing the purchase of counterfeit products. However, the manner in which consumers make decisions regarding the consumption of counterfeit drugs in developing countries remains unclear. This study aims to fill this literature gap by investigating the role of perceived unethical consumer behaviour in discouraging the purchase of counterfeit drugs in a developing country. Method This article reports on two studies conducted in two Sudanese states. The first study employed in-depth qualitative interviews with a purposive sample of policymakers and community pharmacists. The second study employed a face-to-face structured interview survey methodology to collect data from 1003 patients and tested two hypotheses. The study used structural equation modelling with maximum likelihood estimation to test the hypotheses. Survey items were subjected to confirmatory factor analysis using AMOS software version 5.0. Key findings The results revealed that counterfeit drug purchases are not influenced by consumers' awareness of the societal consequences of unethical buying behaviour (t = 0.575). The results also revealed that the decision to participate in this unethical buying behaviour is not perceived as socially stigmatised (β = −0.235, t = 5.477). Conclusion Contrary to the results of many previous studies, counterfeit drug purchases in Sudan are not significantly affected by consumer awareness of societal consequences and are not socially stigmatised. Although the purchase of counterfeit drugs poses ethical and safety implications, consumers in Sudan still view such purchase decisions as rational.
- Pharmacy Research [108 items test 5 ]