Objectives: The objective of the study was to analyze the sociocultural,
economic and regulatory factors influencing access to and the use of medicines by consumers in Tiko, Cameroon.
Method: Using focus group discussions information was obtained from members
of Plantain Traders Association, Township Taxi Drivers Association and Teachers of Government Bilingual High School (GBHS)
Tiko. This information was triangulated with those obtained from key informant interviews with sellers of medicines in community
Results: Key influences on medicines use were reported to have emanated from
the sociocultural and economic background of the people and also from inappropriate regulation on medicine distribution and sales
and included the perceived need for medicines, the cost of medicines, the purchasing habits, the medicine use culture, medicine
supply channels and poor medicines regulation and control.
Conclusion: Consumers’ perceived need for medicines generated a pattern of
use that included medicines sharing attitudes and polypharmacy. Their medicine purchasing attitudes were greatly influenced by
their financial constraints. The lack of proper regulation also contributed towards the irrational use of medicines.