The Cameroon analgesic market and consumer preference : a case study

Africa is often called the "Dark Continent". Few studies have sought to understand African consumer behavior from the consumers' perspective. Utilizing conjoint analysis and Likert statements, this thesis evaluates the determinants of Cameroonian purchase buying behavior of over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers. This thesis also organizes and integrates academic and government data and personal interviews to present a comprehensive background on the Cameroonian pharmaceutical market. Key to marketing in Cameroon and Africa is distribution: distribution barriers limit the choices available and increase prices in rural areas. The increased price forces many rural Cameroonians to obtain drugs from the black market. Informal distribution channels were found to exist among NGO's and drug peddlers. This study found that effectiveness was the most important attribute to the consumer, followed by price, the type of shop selling OTC pain relievers and country-of- origin. The attributes product packaging, distance one must travel to obtain the pain reliever and the type of pain reliever were not considered important. This study also found that increased familiarity with a country does not increase perceived quality for that country. Cameroonians perceive drugs from Europe to be of higher quality than those made in Africa, thus they prefer drugs made in Europe over those made in an African nation. This research contributes to the limited existing body of research on marketing in Africa, in addition to providing an in-depth analysis of one sub-Saharan nation. Suggestions for future research in this area are also provided.

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