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Indian cultural diversity affects attitudes to pharma packaging

10-Jan-2011
Last updated on 17-Jan-2011 at 13:25 GMT

Indian cultural diversity affects attitudes to pharma packaging

Cultural diversity within India underpins differing attitudes to oral dose pharmaceutical packaging and this could impact on prescribing habits.

Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai, each of which retains a distinct cultural identity, account for much of the Indian pharma market. Doctors trained in these cities have different attitudes to pharma packaging designs, according to research, and this could influence prescription choices.

Packaging that considers these factors could prosper because it is better received by doctors and patients. Research presented at the Eighth AIMS International Conference on Management , held in Ahmedabad, India this month, attempts to understand attitudes to packaging design.

Researchers sent a questionnaire to 100 doctors and 250 patients in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai. Responses to the questionnaire showed doctors in Delhi and specialists in Mumbai are most likely to be influenced by the form of oral pharmaceutical packaging.

The research lacks analysis of the impact of various design choices, such as the affect of different colours, and the author acknowledges there is scope for further work in this area.

Despite this shortcoming the researchers believe the paper shows the importance of packaging design and how its influence differs across regions. Local and multinational pharma companies should consider this when creating packaging and communication strategies for India.

Patient response

Analysis of responses from 1,000 patients suggests packaging design has little influence on the buying choices of residents of Delhi and Chennai. Other approaches may be needed to differentiate products in these regions and pharma should consider this in marketing strategies.

In contrast, survey respondents from Kolkata, and men in particular, were found to be more susceptible to influence from pharma packaging design. The research believes there will be little cultural merging over the next five years and consequently the findings should remain valid.

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