Objective The aim of this study was to fill the lack of knowledge regarding a more grounded exploration of the consumer's decision-making process in the context of generic drugs. In this perspective, a model, within the theoretical framework of the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB), for studying the consumers’ purchase intention of generic drugs was developed. Methods An online survey on 2,222 Italian people who bought drugs in the past was conducted. The proposed model was tested through structural equation modelling (SEM). Results Almost all the constructs considered in the model, except the perceived behavioural control, contribute to explain the consumer's purchase intention of generic drugs, after controlling for demographic variables (age, income, education). Specifically, attitude, subjective norm, past behaviour, self-identity and trust in the pharmacist have a positive influence on the intention to buy generic drugs. On the contrary, perceived risk towards products and brand sensitivity act negatively. Conclusions The results of the present study could be useful to public policy makers in developing effective policies and educational campaigns aimed at promoting generic drugs. Specifically, marketing efforts should be directed to inform consumers about the generic drugs’ characteristics to mitigate the perceived risk towards these products and to raise awareness during their decision-making process.
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