These findings suggest that while there is high trust in the medicines and medical products sold in the country, consumers are welcoming the accountability and convenience that technology like blockchain brings.
Zuellig Pharma released findings of its study on “Understanding the Attitude and Perception towards Medical and Health Products in Asia”, with insights identifying trust levels in medicines and medical products across Asia, and consumers’ receptiveness towards the use of blockchain in tracking and tracing medical, health and wellness products for the purpose of verification.
With the epidemic not showing any signs of declining (yet), and as Asia, including Singapore, continues to see a high number of COVID-19 cases in an endemic state, consumers are opting to self-medicate and self-test more frequently than before. To safeguard consumers who are opting for these options, pharmaceutical systems and processes in the region require further strengthening in ensuring the availability, as well as reliability of over-the-counter medication.
Some key findings are highlighted as follows: Consumers have far greater trust in medicines and medical products (68%) over other goods like health and wellness products sold in their own country.
Trust in Products Sold in Country
There is also high confidence in medical and healthcare providers, and pharmacies in most markets in this region, except for Hong Kong and Vietnam. Respondents in Hong Kong place great confidence in official online stores over pharmacies, while Vietnam in wellness practitioners.
Despite high trust in medicines and medical products sold in respective markets, majority of consumers (70%) are preferring to purchase from healthcare providers and pharmacies, with only 1 in 2 willing to purchase from official online stores and even fewer from convenience stores.
Trust in Providers of Medical, Health, and Wellness Products
With consumers opting for self-medication and self-testing, majority of the respondents have agreed that it would be a combined responsibility of the government and their own in ensuring authentic medical, health and wellness products are acquired for use. They also attribute more responsibility to governments with 3 in 5 believing governments have the primary responsibility versus 1 in 2 who would take personal responsibility for monitoring health products.
Responsibility of Ensuring Responsibility
Consumers agree that self-service tools can help them in the products they consume when self-medicating, with 9 out of 10 respondents showing high interest in a tool they can use to verify products and report suspected counterfeits.
Use of App for Medical, Health, and Wellness Products
Zuellig Pharma, as a digital and data solutions provider with innovative channels to make healthcare more accessible, build trust and ensure product integrity with blockchain.
Findings showed 65% of respondents are aware of the blockchain technology, and more than half view the blockchain technology as useful in providing end-to-end traceability of medical, health and wellness products – and ensuring the products are verified and not compromised at any point along the supply chain. This demonstrates the added assurance consumers seek when self-medicating.
Overall, the findings suggest that while there is high trust in the medicines and medical products sold in the country, consumers are welcoming the accountability and convenience that technology like blockchain brings.
Blockchain-backed tracking systems can only be beneficial with collaboration across the ecosystem. Having a common goal of making healthcare more accessible through technology is highly contingent on 3P partnerships: strong government support for the rollout, high adoption rates by private organisations and members of the public can help the industry move forward, for the good of patients. [APBN]
Source: Zuellig Pharma