Abstract
THE CONSUMER’S BUYING BEHAVIOR, PRICE AND SUPPLY OF SELECTED ESSENTIAL MEDICINES AND PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT IN SELECTED COMMUNITY PHARMACIES DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC IN QUEZON CITY, PHILIPPINES

Kimberly M. Espino* and Justine Kaye F. Gajo

ABSTRACT

The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 as a pandemic in March 2020. In the Philippines, Quezon City was the first city declared by the IATF-EID under a state of calamity, following the imposition of lockdown measures from March to April 2020. The study determined the consumer‟s buying behavior, price, and supply of essential medicines and personal protective equipment in community pharmacies in Quezon City, Philippines during the COVID-19 pandemic. Descriptive quantitative method and purposive sampling technique were utilized, in which 323 community pharmacists participated to answer the survey questionnaire. The gathered data was statistically analyzed using paired t- test, frequency, and percentage. The statistical analysis revealed that before and during COVID-19 pandemic, there was a substantial difference in consumer's buying behavior in terms of consumer purchase, price consciousness, and online purchasing, and in the supply of essential medicines and personal protective equipment. During COVID-19, there is no significant price change in essential medicines. However, there is a considerable price change in personal protective equipment, indicating a cost increase. Following observations of the level of supply of essential medications and personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic, three out of every four pharmacists imposed a limit on customer purchases. Seven in ten pharmacists stockpiled products and almost half of the pharmacists found new suppliers and distributors. Indeed, the pandemic has influenced the consumer's buying behavior, price, and supply of medicines and personal protective equipment in Quezon City. Nonetheless, some implemented policies were effective in addressing these changes.

Keywords: Consumer Purchase, Price Consciousness, Online Purchasing, Support System.


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