Global: Are perceptions of quality sustaining the market for branded drugs?
August 5th, 2022, Janice Fernandes

Global: Are perceptions of quality sustaining the market for branded drugs?

The marked price difference between branded and generic medicines is one of the reasons behind the demand for the cheaper versions of drugs. But despite the higher price of branded medicines, many consumers still prefer them. We look at how much perceptions of quality are driving these behaviors.

Latest data from YouGov Global Profiles, indicates that two in five global consumers (42%) pick branded drugs as they consider them to be of higher quality.

The figure is significantly higher in most developing countries – but also in some wealthy markets too. Nearly three in five consumers in Hong Kong (59%), for example, say they would choose branded drugs, the highest of all 43 markets studied in this survey. Saudi Arabia (52%) and South Africa (50%) are the other two countries where half of the consumers choose branded drugs based on perceptions of their quality.

Most countries in the APAC region outpace global respondents in agreement – with a few exceptions. Singapore (29%) and Australia (28%) register over a quarter of consumers. Significantly fewer Japanese consumers (17%) agree they choose branded drugs because of higher quality, the lowest share in all markets. This could suggest that the country’s efforts in promoting generic drugs have been successful.

Consumers in European markets are more likely to disagree with the statement than agree. Over half of Britons (57%) say they don’t choose branded drugs because they are of higher quality, followed by 55% of Germans. The rest of the markets in this region register at least a third of consumers who share the same opinion. This implies that European consumers either prefer buying generic drugs or that they buy branded drugs for reasons other than the higher quality.

The US and Canada also follow a similar pattern, with consumers more likely to disagree with the statement. While Americans (48%) are roughly twice as likely as global respondents (22%) to say they don’t prefer branded drugs based on their quality, the share is slightly lower among Canadians (33%). On the other hand, urban Mexicans register over two in five consumers agreeing (43%) and nearly a quarter disagreeing with the statement (24%).

Methodology: YouGov Global Profiles is a globally consistent audience dataset with 1000+ questions across 43 markets. The data is based on continuously collected data from adults aged 16+ years in China and 18+ years in other markets. The sample sizes for YouGov Global Profiles will fluctuate over time, however the minimum sample size is always c.1000. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from India and UAE, which use urban representative samples, and China, Egypt, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Morocco, Philippines, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam, which use online representative samples. Learn more about Global Profiles.

To receive monthly insights about the health and pharma industry register here.

To read YouGov’s latest intelligence on the health and pharma sector explore here.