Month: April 2015

AE Impact Story: Impact of Legislative Change on Demand for Medicines in Barbados

Aim of the Project

In early 2011, the Government of Barbados introduced a dispensing fee for prescriptions filled at private pharmacies. This fee, the equivalent of 30% of the cost of the medicine, was expected to raise US$6 million for the Government and reduce the budget of the Barbados Drug Service by US$8.7 million.

The goal of this project was to identify the implications of this policy change for the demand for medicines, and identify a strategy that would stimulate continued growth for our client.

What We Did

We conducted a comprehensive assessment of the key policy documents related to Barbados’ policy regarding medicines, and surveyed and interviewed four key stakeholder groups: (1) consumers; (2) doctors; (3) pharmacists; and, (4) government and international health agencies. We needed to understand how their behaviour had evolved since the change in policy, as well as their views on how the market demand for medicines would continue to evolve.

The results of the secondary research and surveys formed the inputs into a forecast model to simulate the likely impact of the policy change on market demand over time. In addition, an assessment of the behavioural changes likely to have been adopted by pharmacists, doctors and consumers was provided.


The results were used by the client to adjust their marketing and distribution policies in the Barbados market.

Their proactive approach allowed them to grow market share and maintain profitability, despite the negative impact of the policy change on overall market demand for medicines.

The ‘New’ British Visitor to Barbados

Since the late 2000s the number of British visitors to Barbados has fallen considerably (click Where did the Brits go to read our article looking at possible explanations.) This decline resulted in a shift in the characteristics of the average British visitor. In our latest article, we take a closer look at The ‘New’ British Visitor to Barbados.

We investigate demographics and travel patterns and find that the ‘new‘ visitor is very different from the pre-2008 visitor, with different spending patterns, demographic characteristics and travel planning behaviour. This shift raises important considerations about the future of the British market in Barbados.   

To read this article, click here .

If you would like to see more of this type of research, join the AE Group of Influencers and let us know.

Where Did the Brits Go?

One of the indirect effects of the global financial crisis on Barbados has been a reduction in visitor arrivals. While arrivals from all of Barbados’ main source markets felt the impact, the British market has been particularly hard hit: not only has the total number of visitors declined, but visitor expenditure has also fallen.

There are a number of potential explanations that have been posited:

  • The UK recession and the rise of the ‘staycation’ have resulted in lower demand for travel outside of the country
  • The increase in the air passenger duty applied to longhaul flights increased the cost of airfare, possible beyond the reach of many of Barbados’ visitors
  • The closure of a large all-inclusive hotel created a gap in the package holiday market

We examine these theories in our article ‘Where did the Brits go?’

If you’d like to see more of this type of research, click here to join our Group of Influencers to tell us your areas of interest.

Our Work in the Tourism Industry in Barbados

AE Tourism Brochure background-01The tourism industry in Barbados faces many challenges: declining visitor expenditure, low tourist arrivals, changing visitor preferences, climate change, tighter financial budgets and increased competition from other destinations. We use our economics and data analytics skills to reduce the threats and maximise the opportunities inherent in each of these challenges.


Sample of the questions we can help answer:

  • Is now the right time to expand?
  • Should we discount our rates?
  • Do tourist preferences vary by country of origin?
  • How should I vary my marketing in the winter season versus the summer season?
  • When will visitor spending return to normal?


Click here to view our tourism brochure and read more about how we support the most dynamic region in the Caribbean.