More than half of Russians save on medicines

Rising drug prices do not scare only a third of consumers.
Origin source
Slightly more than a third of Russians (35%) do not pay attention to prices when buying medicines and continue to buy them in previous volumes, a new survey of the holding Romir showed. Two years ago, when a similar survey was conducted, the number of such people was 34%.

According to the Institute of Social Policy of the Higher School of Economics, one of the main factors in the growth of prices for pharmaceutical products in recent years was the devaluation of the ruble, but the maximum growth in prices for medicines was observed in 2015. In 2014, the price increase for medicines was higher than the general consumer price index (113.1% vs. 111.4%), while the inflation of the cost of medical services was lower (109.2%). In 2015, with a general increase in consumer prices by 12.9%, prices for medicines rose by 19.6%, in 2016, drugs rose 4.9%, the study "Consumption of medical services and medicines during the economic crisis."

According to Romir, more than half of respondents try to save on medicines, buying them only in case of emergency (32%), or choosing cheaper analogues (18%), or using traditional medicine (4%).

The main questions asked during the survey concerned the use of medicines: purchase volumes, producer choice, import substitution.

According to the estimates of DSM Group, in 2013-2016 the import of drugs decreased by 22% in terms of the number of packages and by 40% in dollar terms.

As shown by the poll Romir, there has been no dramatic shift in the consumer sentiment of Russians over the past two years. In the peak of the crisis of 2015, 57% of respondents said about saving on medicines. However, the share of Russians who started buying more medicines increased, as they began to get sick more - from 9 to 11%. But the authors of the study indicate that this growth is insignificant, within the limits of statistical error.

When asked what are the main factors in choosing medicines, 55% of respondents called "prices" versus 63% two years ago. From 42% to 44%, the number of those who called the "doctor's recommendation" an important factor increased. The proportion of those who use the advice of a pharmacist during the purchase has remained unchanged: 18%.

For 33% of drug users, their properties and therapeutic effect are important, for 31% the previous experience of use is basic, for 17% - the recommendation of friends or acquaintances, for 15% - the producing country.

According to the HSE data, the total household expenditure on treatment fell by 8% in 2013-2016, the cost of medical services - by 14%.