People believe medicines do not have price based upon market demand, but instead necessity
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/21/2013 -- According to new research, people think medicine that is cheap find it more vital to take it. The study comes from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, and shows consumers believe prices for lifesaving products are based upon need, not profit. Thus, many assume that their risk of getting illnesses of the serious variety are higher when the medicine is less expensive. The study also notes that they are more likely to plan to get treatment given a cheaper price.
"We find that people have a fundamental belief that everyone should have access to lifesaving care, such as vaccines, doctor's visits, screening tests like mammograms, and cancer treatments," says Adriana Samper, assistant professor in the W. P. Carey School of Business.
"Nobody wants anyone to die because they didn't have the resources to cover the treatment. Therefore, they believe communal pricing (based on need), rather than the normal market pricing for other goods, applies in these situations. They expect medicine for a serious illness to be inexpensive."
Samper co-authored the new marketing study, alongside Assistant Professor Janet Schwartz of Tulane University, and the new study will appear in the April edition of the Journal of Consumer Research. Within the study, a series of experiments were conducted, and the researchers demonstrated various points regarding medication perception and usage variance.
In one experiment, participants took an online survey to evaluate 10 products and services. Vaccines, doctor's visits, and drugs used to prevent serious illnesses were ranked by being driven by the communal pricing, while tax services, restaurant items, and electronics for the home were all market-drive, according to those surveyed.
Another experiment had online participants asked about creams described for preventing skin cancer or age spots. Price had no effect on the attitude toward the cosmetic cream. However, when the skin-cancer treatment was only $25, respondents believed they likely needed it more.
"We see the same thing for a flu shot," says Samper. "People are more concerned about getting the disease and addressing prevention if the vaccine is cheaper. That's an important note for health officials during our especially tough flu season right now.”
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