Drug prescription practices in Brazil: a structural equation model

Wagner Junior Ladeira (University of the Vale do Rio dos Sinos, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil)
Marlon Dalmoro (Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil)
Alisson Eduardo Maehler (Federal University of Pelotas, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil)
Clécio Falcão Araujo (Faculty of Technology Senacrs, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil)

International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing

ISSN: 1750-6123

Publication date: 21 November 2011



The paper's aim is to analyze the functional relationships between factors related to the prescription of medical drugs in Brazil.


A survey was conducted among 232 medical doctors in Brazil. Data were collected using a structured questionnaire. Five hypotheses on the factors impacting drug prescription were proposed, and the constructs were validated using a set of techniques pertaining to the calculation of structural equations.


The process of medical drug prescription in Brazil is positively correlated with all the presented constructs. However, the study found that the five proposed hypotheses demonstrated varying degrees of positive effect levels, ranging from strong to weak. Particularly, factors such as the characteristics of the drug and information available on a drug have the weakest effect, while the cost‐benefit ratio of a drug has a moderate effect. The drug's brand and its related advertising have the strongest effect.

Practical implications

The results demonstrate the success of specific applications of advertising tools and brand construction in pharmaceutical marketing strategies targeting Brazilian physicians.


The study provides a broad map to understand the influences on drug prescriptions. Despite a prior study that found the behavior of physicians to be impacted by a different set of factors, this new research clearly shows that, in the Brazilian context, branding and advertising remain the major influences.



Junior Ladeira, W., Dalmoro, M., Eduardo Maehler, A. and Falcão Araujo, C. (2011), "Drug prescription practices in Brazil: a structural equation model", International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing, Vol. 5 No. 4, pp. 262-278. https://doi.org/10.1108/17506121111190103

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