The economy of Zimbabwe is currently going through hyperinflation with inflation well above 586% against the US dollar. The inflationary pressure is causing untold suffering to the nation particularly in the area of healthcare and the cost of medicines. As such, pharmaceutical wholesalers are struggling to fund imports of pharmaceuticals due to lack of low cost foreign currency. Some wholesalers have been forced to close trading in order to preserve value. The decline in the economy has led to severe unemployment rates way upwards of 90% and the informal sector has become the mainstay of “doing business”. Pharmaceutical wholesalers are struggling to survive moreso under a severe shortage of foreign currency required for the importation of basic pharmaceutical products leading to the collapse of the pharmaceutical sector. The aim is to study the current crop of pharmaceutical wholesalers’ pricing strategies and understand the pricing drivers in order to explore opportunities for cost containment and increase supply and access to imported medicines. Through the use of a purposive sampling approach, one hundred and fifteen (115) registered pharmaceutical wholesale owners and their managers in the city of Harare were interviewed through use of open-ended questions and discussions. The population sample represents ninety percent of the registered pharmaceutical wholesalers. The study used Porter’s business strategies theory as the conceptual framework. The data collected was used to analyse, categorize, codify, and tabulate to draw themes central to the research question. These themes included a strategic focus on pricing, impact on retail pharmacy inventory management, impact of patient care, and reimbursement by medical funders. The findings may inform policy-makers in determining/reviewing the standards of pharmaceutical practice and insights critical to resolving the research question.
Cite this paper
Musiza, P. T. (2023). Pricing Strategies of Pharmaceutical Wholesalers in Zimbabwe and Their Impact on Service Provision. Open Access Library Journal, 10, e185. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/oalib.1110185.
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