Factors influencing the purchase of

Swart, Francois
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The purpose of this study was to identify which factors have an influence on the South African Cardiologist’s decision of which stent to choose on behalf of their patients. South African Medical Device Companies (MDC) spend approximately R25 million each year on various marketing activities (excluding sales staff costs) in an attempt to increase their share of the Cardiologist’s stent business. Stent sales account for approximately 50% of these MDC’s sales and the South African stent market is worth R185 million annually (MDC, market assessment 2006). Possible influencing factors were identified from the literature reviewed. These influences were tested by a questionnaire sent to the 23 top stent using Cardiologists in South Africa, who account for 80% of the yearly stents used. 19 of the 23 questionnaires were returned and the Likert scale responses to the questions were analysed using Stacey’s (2005) distribution fitting algorithm. The study identified three statistically significant influences on the Cardiologist’s choice of stent (in order of relative importance): 1. The doctor’s relationship with the company’s sales staff (representatives and sales managers). 2. Sponsorships provided by Medical Device Companies to doctors to attend Continued Medical Education (CME) events i.e. international congresses, training events and local educational events. 3. The recommendations of International Key Opinion leaders. iii Three more influences identified from the literature were found to not have a statistically significant positive influence on the South African Cardiologist’s choice of stent: 1. Cardiologist’s attending meals provided by Medical Device Companies. 2. The price of Stents. 3. Gifts provided to Cardiologists by Medical Device Companies. The key recommendation to Medical Device Companies is that any marketing strategy aimed at strengthening the relationship between the Medical Device Company and the Cardiologists would have the greatest positive influence on stent choice.
Stents, Purchase of, Medicine, Heart procedures