Factors influencing the influx of counterfeit medicines in Kenya: A survey of pharmaceutical importing small and medium enterprises within Nairobi

Kenneth Wanjau, Muli Muthiani


The proliferation of counterfeit medicines is one of the most pressing issues facing pharmaceutical SMEs in Kenya. As a result of counterfeiting, the SMEs lose revenues and profits, jobs are lost and customers are forced to pay higher prices for genuine products due to financial losses. Counterfeiting has received little attention in research in spite of its development, scope and consequences on firms, on governments and on brands. The study adopted descriptive survey research design. The study used both qualitative and quantitative techniques in analyzing data. Factor analysis, correlation analysis
and regression analysis were used to determine the relationship between the independent variables. The study found out from a response rate of 80.3%, legislation, popularity of a brand, pricing strategy and various perceived risks had influence on the influx of counterfeit medicines. The components identified as important in regard to legislation were weak enforcement of the anti-counterfeit law and ambiguity of the definition of counterfeit. Further, the degree of popularity of a brand was found to influence the willingness to purchase counterfeit products.Consumers were found to buy counterfeit medicine over genuine ones if there existed a price advantage. It was also found out that consumers take into consideration the influence of various perceived risks in the decision making process to purchase counterfeits.

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