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Varna Medical Forum

Pharmacists` attitudes and preferences in offering food supplements

Bonka Minkova, Maria Rohova


Introduction: Some of the most dynamically developing markets in the pharmaceutical sector are those of food supplements and non-prescription medicines. The role of pharmacists in the consumer decision-making process of such products is significant. The purpose of the current study is to analyse the factors that influence the opinion and preferences of pharmacists on the recommendation of food supplements.

Materials and Methods: The survey was conducted in Varna between May and July 2017, using a direct anonymous survey. One hundred pharmacists were included in the sample.

Results and Discussion: All pharmacists recommend food supplements to their clients. The main reason for the recommendation is the shared good results from the product by patients, as indicated by 92% of respondents. Afterwards, they rank the confidence in the manufacturer and the product ingredients. Doctors` references to a food supplement significantly increase the confidence of pharmacists. Clinical trials affect their preferences, although clinical trials do not play a decisive role in this process. The price of the product is also an essential factor, preferring products predominantly in the average price range. The primary sources of information relied on by pharmacists are medical websites and databases, medical journals and scientific conferences.

Conclusions: Consumers respect the expert opinion of pharmacists and very often trust their recommendation. Studying pharmacists` motives and preferences when offering food supplements is essential for adequate market positioning by manufacturers.


pharmacists; food supplements; preferences; sources of information

Full Text


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