Perspektywy rozwoju turystyki farmaceutycznej w regionie Polski południowej
Pharmaceutical tourism development prospects in the region of southern Poland
Background. The number of foreign patients in pharmacies is relatively on the increase, which contributes to the development of medical tourism, especially of one of its categories – pharmaceutical tourism. This requires estimation of the foreign patients segment, determination of the sociodemographic profile of the “pharmaceutical tourist”, identification of the tourist’s purchase-related behaviour and indication of the prospects for the pharmaceutical tourism development. Materials and methods. The research concerned a random-target group of 167 pharmacies operating in the region of southern Poland. An own survey was used. Results. In the years 2012-2014 the number of foreign patients using the services of the pharmacies rose by over 13500. These were mainly male patients aged 31-40 (30.4%) coming from Great Britain (18.8%), Germany (16.3%), Russia (10.5%) and the Czech Republic (10.3%). Most of them come in winter. OTC drugs are a popular purchase (68%) and a patient’s average expense does not exceed PLN 250.00 (46%). Using hard arguments, 49.1% of the surveyed representatives of the pharmacies express no optimism about the development of medical tourism. Conclusions. The results of own research indicate that there is an urgent need to make diverse interventions on the market of medical tourism, including pharmaceutical tourism.