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TREATMENT PATTERN OF COMMON

AILMENTS BY PARENTS IN THEIR CHILDREN

ANIRUDH.S.PANICKER
ROLL NO A072.
ACADEMIC YEAR 2011-16
UNDER THE MENTORSHIP OF
MS. GEETHA IYER

INTRODUCTION

With the modern world being consumed by all forms of


media-patients and consumers do not solely seek the
help of doctors for the treatment of certain common
ailments.

And with the advent of increased brand awareness as a


factor it is important for pharmaceutical companies to
identify effective marketing strategies for their drugs and
medicines.

Therefore it is important to understand the medium


through which the market is more easily penetrable,
either through doctors or advertisements for OTCs

STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

With many new drugs coming into the foray


for the treatment of various ailments, it is
difficult to establish and maintain a strong
market share.

Hence it is important to understand the


treatment pattern among parents for common
ailments in their children which is either
through non-prescription medication therapy
or prescription based medication therapy.

REVIEW OF LITERATURE

Most common illnesses in children constitute cold,cough,high


fever,colic/stomach ache,headache and high temperature
with reports suggesting that approximately 35.7 million drugs
under these ailment categories were dispensed at
pharmacies for children.

Also, the main categories of drugs that have been prescribed


by doctors for children were found out by a survey,which
suggested antibacterials,analgesics and bronchodilators were
common categories for children.

In another survey about 8,145 children under the age of 5


were given an OTC medication in the month in which the
survey was conducted.

OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY


1.

To understand firstly whether the parents


prefer physician prescribed medicines or nonprescription medicines.

2.

The secondary objective is to understand


the factors which play a role in selecting a
particular emergency drug for their children .

METHODOLOGY

Research method: - A primary research was conducted to understand the


treatment pattern among parents for ailments in children. This topic required
primary research since parents today do not treat their children for common
ailments only through doctors consultation. Hence it is important to study
presently the treatment pattern among parents for their childrens ailments.

Parents of children-aged between 0 to 15 were the target audience.

Questionnaire design: - The survey included questions with demographic


characteristics, age, preference between non-prescribed and prescribed
drugs,factors influencing their decisions.

Multiple choice questions were framed and also some agreement questions
and rating scales were used.
Analysis plan:- The software used for analysis was SPSS. In SPSS, one sample Ttest, cross- tabulation and pie chart/frequencies was used for interpreting the
data.

ANALYSIS OF SURVEY DATA


Do you prefer treating ailments in your
child/children through non-prescribed OTC(Over
The Counter) medicines?

Vali Yes
d
No
Total

Freque
ncy
Percent

Valid
Percent

Cumulati
ve
Percent

20

40.8

40.8

40.8

29

59.2

59.2

100.0

49

100.0

100.0

T-TEST
LIKELINESS OF AILMENTS WHICH REQUIRE DOCTOR CONSULTATION:
Factor

Mean

3.102

Conclusion
Since the mean value is close to 3,it can be
concluded that parents sometimes treat sore
throats with the help of doctors

3.265

Since the mean value is close to 3,it can be


concluded that parents sometimes treat cold
with the help of doctors

2.020

Since the mean value is close to 2,it can be


concluded that parents mostly treat fever with
the help of doctors

2.918

Since the mean value is close to 3,it can be


concluded that parents sometimes treat cough
with the help of doctors

2.429

Since the mean value is close to 2,it can be


concluded that parents mostly treat vomiting
with the help of doctors

2.939

Since the mean value is close to 3,it can be


concluded that parents sometimes treat
indigestion with the help of doctors

Sore throat

Cold

Fever

Cough

Vomiting

Indigestion

In which situation do you administer only non-precribed


OTC(Over The Counter) medicines in your
child/children?

Valid

Cumul
Frequ Percen Valid
ative
ency
t
Percent Percent
For
cold,cough
Midnight,w
orking
hours
Everytime
Total

37

75.5

75.5

75.5

10

20.4

20.4

95.9

4.1

4.1

100.0

49

100.0

100.0

Inference: It was found that about 75.5% of parents administer non-prescribed OTCs to children
when the child suffers from a cold or cough .A smaller percentage of 20.4% parents cited work
commitments as the reason to administer non-prescribed OTCs. Therefore suggesting that majority
of the parents trusted cold and cough medicines and did not require consultation for such ailments.

Factor

Mean

Conclusion

Tv
T-TEST

4.449

The mean value is close to 4,it can therefore be


concluded that TV as a source of information is
not very influential

4.714

The mean value is close to 5,it can therefore be


concluded that newspapers are not at all
influential as a source of information.

3.551

The mean value is close to 3,it can therefore be


concluded that Friends are somewhat influential
as a source of information

3.122

The mean value is close to 3,it can therefore be


concluded that Family is somewhat influential as a
source of information

3.837

The mean value is close to 4,it can therefore be


concluded that Internet as a source of information
is not very influential

1.327

The mean value is close to 1,it can be therefore


concluded that Doctors are a highly influential
source of information to parents

INFLUENCE OF SOURCES OF INFORMATION IN ADMNISTERING MEDICINES:

Newspaper

Friends

Family

Internet

Doctor

CROSS TABULATION
Child's age * In which situation do you administer only non prescribed OTC(Over The Counter)
medicines in your child/children? Crosstabulation
Count
In which situation do you administer only nonprescribed OTC(Over The Counter) medicines in
your child/children?
Midnight,workin

For cold,cough g hours


Everytime
Total
Child's age
0-3
6
1
0
7
4-7
3
1
0
4
8-11
5
3
0
8
12-15
23
5
2
30
Total
37
10
2
49

Inference:When the relation between childs age situation was

examined,it was observed that childs age did not influence the situation
to administer non-prescribed OTCs and that children across all age groups
considered i.e 0-15,majority of the children were mostly administered non
prescribed OTCs for cold and cough.

What factors do you consider the most when you


administer only non-prescribed OTC medicines in your
child/children?
Cumul
Valid
ative
Frequ Percen Percen Percen
ency
t
t
t

Valid

Knowledge
about
ailments/me
dicines
Elderly
advice
Advertiseme
nts
Previous
prescriptions
Total

24

49.0

49.0

49.0

8.2

8.2

57.1

4.1

4.1

61.2

19

38.8

38.8

100.0

49

100.0

100.0

Inference: In this case,as observed above, parents did trust their own knowledge about
ailments and medicines while administering only OTCs with 49% respondents claiming
this as a factor. But previous prescriptions by doctors did prove to a major factor among
parents too with 38.8% respondents voting for this as a factor, showing the important
role of doctors when it comes to drug marketing.

How willing are you to try out new brands of


medicines?

Valid

Cumula
Frequ Percen Valid
tive
ency
t
Percent Percent
Very
willing
Willing
Somewh
at willing
Less
willing
Total

2.0

2.0

2.0

10.2

10.2

12.2

26

53.1

53.1

65.3

17

34.7

34.7

100.0

49

100.0

100.0

Inference: From the above pie chart it can be observed that most parents were either
somewhat willing or less willing to try out new brands of medicines and chose to
administer medicines which were better known to them.

CONCLUSION

Majority of the parents dont prefer treating ailments without doctor consultation.

Ailments like fever and vomiting is most likely to be treated by prescription


medicines,therefore parents take their children to the doctor mostly in these cases
among common ailments.

Ailments such as cold and cough were most likely to be treated through non
prescription OTCs.

Doctors advice was seen as highly influential source of information among parents with
respect to treatment of any ailment.

Parents are not very willing to try out new brands of medicines and prefer using well
known older brands.

Parents claimed that knowledge about medicines and ailments was a factor in
administering non-prescription OTCs which could be attributed to previous successful
advertisement campaigns.

Previous prescriptions were also a very important factor in prescribing non-prescribed


OTCs,once again throwing light on the doctors importance in influencing their decision.

RECOMMENDATIONS
Doctors

are a major influence in most of the parents and therefore,it is important for most of
the companies to target doctors for marketing drugs in various areas since their influence has
not died down.
Certain medicines for ailments like cold , cough and fever to an extent have benefitted majorly
by advertising campaigns done throughout various generations therefore it can be
recommended that similar campaigns and advertisements can be started for other easily
treatable ailments like vomiting and indigestion whose medicines have a very low trust response
due to lower advertising.
Since ailments such as fever and vomiting are mostly treated by consultation with doctors,
medicines under these categories have to be continually marketed through doctors.
Parents today have claimed increased knowledge about medicines to be used for cold, cough
and fever which could be attributed to successful advertising previously,therefore suggesting
that advertising is an important means to influence parents decisions.
Parents trust older,well known brands more when it comes to purchasing non-prescription
medicines and therefore,new brands will find it difficult to enter into such a highly competitive
market.Therefore, marketing such new brands through doctors is highly recommended to
increase the initial market reach.