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Effect of service quality on doctor’s satisfaction and prescribing behavior in pharmaceutical supply chain – a study with reference to a major Indian pharmaceutical company

Uma Maheswari Devi Parmata (Department of Commerce and Management Studies, Adikavi Nannaya University, Rajahmundry, India)
Surya Prakash Chetla (Department of Mathematics, Adikavi Nannaya University, Rajahmundry, India)

International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing

ISSN: 1750-6123

Article publication date: 7 April 2021

Issue publication date: 9 June 2021

393

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop a scale for the measurement of service quality at the manufacturer–doctor interface of the pharmaceutical supply chain and to study the impact of service quality on doctor’s satisfaction and doctor’s prescribing behavior. Doctors from two major states of South India were selected for the study. A doctor perceived service quality scale with three dimensions having eight items was developed through confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) in the pharmaceutical context. Structural equation modeling (SEM) technique was used to show the relationship between service quality, satisfaction and prescribing behavior. The critical factors of service quality were identified, and a model was developed showing the relationship between service quality, doctor’s satisfaction and doctor’s prescribing behavior which has not been explored in any research. This model will be helpful in further development of new concepts and for analyzing the reasons for the failure of doctors in providing quality service. 

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 200 doctors from three major cities of South India were selected. A doctor perceived service quality scale with three dimensions having eight items was developed through CFA using Parasuraman Service quality scale (Parasuraman, 1985, 1986, 1988) as the basis in the pharmaceutical context after focus group discussions with company experts, retailers, doctors and academicians. SEM technique was used to examine the impact of service quality on doctor’s satisfaction and prescribing behavior.

Findings

There is no universal set of dimensions and items that determine service quality in manufacturing industries, especially at the manufacturer–doctor interface of the pharmaceutical supply chain though service quality plays a very important role in affecting the performance of manufacturing industries. The critical factors affecting the quality of service for a pharmaceutical company at the manufacturer–doctor interface of the supply chain were identified, and its impact on doctor’s satisfaction and their prescribing behavior were studied.

Research limitations/implications

This research contributes to the development of service quality scale for measuring service quality in pharmaceutical manufacturing company, especially with reference to manufacturer–doctor interface of the supply chain which was not thoroughly explored earlier. A model was developed showing the positive relationship between service quality and doctor’s satisfaction and doctor’s prescribing behavior in pharmaceutical supply chain which is a new concept not proved experimentally.

Practical implications

The study is very useful for the pharmaceutical manufacturing companies to identify the service quality factors affecting doctor’s satisfaction and their prescribing behavior thereby leading to development of new measures for improving the performance of the pharmaceutical supply chain. This study can lead to identification of problems involved in pharmaceutical supply chain and also leads to generation of new ideas and development of new concepts for influencing doctor’s satisfaction and doctor’s prescribing behavior which in turn can help in providing better health.

Social implications

This study actually has a direct impact on the society. If factors affecting doctor’s satisfaction and prescribing behavior are identified automatically, the end consumer, i.e. patient, can be satisfied in a better way, and better medical care can be provided. If doctor’s problems are identified, then better solutions can be provided to patients; this in turn has a lot of positive impact on the pharmaceutical company and society in general.

Originality/value

This research will act as a base for generating ideas relating to how quality service provided by a company will have an impact on doctor’s satisfaction and his prescribing behavior in pharmaceutical supply chain .To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this study is the first of its kind of the conceptual aspects of service quality, satisfaction and loyalty explained in terms of pharmaceutical supply chain as service quality, doctor’s satisfaction and doctor’s prescribing behavior and proved experimentally.

Keywords

Citation

Parmata, U.M.D. and Chetla, S.P. (2021), "Effect of service quality on doctor’s satisfaction and prescribing behavior in pharmaceutical supply chain – a study with reference to a major Indian pharmaceutical company", International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing, Vol. 15 No. 2, pp. 173-211. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPHM-04-2018-0024

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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