Nudging for the appropriate disposal of pharmaceuticals

Last registered on November 17, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Nudging for the appropriate disposal of pharmaceuticals
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0008544
Initial registration date
November 14, 2021
Last updated
November 17, 2021, 8:20 AM EST

Locations

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Primary Investigator

Affiliation
University of Bern

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of Bern
PI Affiliation
University of Bern

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2021-09-01
End date
2023-01-31
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
The correct disposal of not-needed medication is important as incorrect disposal could cause harm to people, animals or the environment. So far, only little is known on how to effectively get pharmacy customers to dispose not-needed medication at pharmacies free of charge. In a field experiment, we examine how different a simple reminder and a hand-written reminder affect the willingness of customers to return their not-need medication for proper disposal. We will therefore examine two different interventions to remind pharmacy customers of the possibility to dispose not-needed medication at pharmacies.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Essl, Andrea, Alina Krieg and Patrick Schönenberger. 2021. "Nudging for the appropriate disposal of pharmaceuticals." AEA RCT Registry. November 17. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.8544-1.1
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
In a between subject design with three groups, we will examine whether different reminders are effective in increasing the return rate of not-needed medication. In the control treatment only the paper-bag with the verbal request to use it to return not-needed medication to the pharmacy is used. In the reminder treatment, additional to the verbal request the bag contains a flyer with a printed request to use the bag to return not-needed medication to the pharmacy. In the hand-written treatment, same as in the reminder treatment the bag contains a flyer with the request, however, in this case the request on the flyer is hand-written instead of printed on.
Intervention Start Date
2021-11-15
Intervention End Date
2021-11-30

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Our main outcome variable is a dummy variable which takes the value 1 if the person returns the bag and 0 if the person does not return the bag. The returned bags will be counted over the following 8 weeks.
We will control for individual observable charateristics (gender and age group), pharmacy location, time slot, the person who hands out the paper bag, and mood of person who receives the paper bag. In addition, we will consider each day seperately (especially the first day) as well as all experimental days.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
In addition, we will measure whether a customer refuse to take a bag for returning pharmaciticals.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
In a between-subject design, we will handout paper-bags for returning not-needed medication to the customers of 6 pharmacies. In the control treatment only the paper-bag with the request to use it to return not-needed medication to the pharmacy is used. In the reminder treatment the bag additionally contains a flyer with a printed request to use the bag to return not-needed medication to the pharmacy. In the hand-written treatment, same as in the reminder treatment the bag contains a flyer with the request, however, in this case the request on the flyer is hand-written instead of printed on.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization over morning (9-10; 10-11; 11-12 am => ABC/BCA/CBA) and afternoon hours (15-16, 16-17; 17-18=> ABC/BCA/CBA) on three consecutive days in 6 pharmacies.
Randomization Unit
Paper bags
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
In total about 1500 paper bags, depending on how many people visit the 6 pharmacies.
Sample size: planned number of observations
In total about 1500 paper bags, depending on how many people visit the 6 pharmacies.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
About 500 paper bags per treatment, depending on how many people visit the 6 pharmacies.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Ethics Committee of the Faculty of Business Administration, Economics and Social Sciences of the University of Bern
IRB Approval Date
2021-11-15
IRB Approval Number
232021