Case studies - 5 February 2018

Research of OTC market

One of our partners, an international research agency operating in the medical and pharmaceutical field, commissioned PMR Consulting & Research to conduct research of OTC market – an online study with pharmacists. 

Objectives of project

The aim of the study was to understand the role of the pharmacist in terms of recommendations for flu and cold medicine.


The active role of pharmacists and their direct impact on patient purchasing decisions in the area of over-the-counter (OTC) drugs is a very interesting and appealing area of research in the pharmaceutical indystry. In recent years, the approach to the sales process and the role of the pharmacist have undergone significant changes. Pharmacists are very often first-line contact persons from whom customers expect professional advice. In many cases, a recommendation may increase the credibility of the drug in the eyes of patients and build confidence in the brand.

Project details

The team of PMR Consulting & Research recruited pharmacists and pharmaceutical technicians who then took part in an online CAWI survey. As part of the study, we conducted an extensive analysis of the patient decision-making process and how pharmacists recommend drugs to customers.


The detailed scope of the study covered the following issues:


  • typical symptoms described by patients,
  • patients’ needs in terms of flu and cold medication,
  • methods of interviewing a patient by pharmacists,
  • pharmacists’ willingness to recommend drugs,
  • factors and criteria to be taken into account by pharmacist when choosing a product to recommend,
  • reasons for recommending particular drugs,
  • pharmacists’ opinion on flu and cold medication available on the market.

Additionally, pharmacists were asked to complete short forms, answering questions about their interaction with a handful of patients who purchased medication for flu and colds.

Project results

As a result, our client received very detailed information on the decision-making process of patients, and the readiness and methods of recommending flu and cold medicines by pharmacists. The data provided the basis for planning a local marketing strategy for the international pharmaceutical company.

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Justyna Zagórska

Senior Analyst