Abstract / Summary:
Comment (NPW): The authors conclude that there is a 'need to study factors associated with these practices and promote evidence-based prescription'. The current study was limited to examination of prescriptions, and did not address possible contributing factors. Availability of relevant, reliable, up-to-date information on medicines is a prerequisite factor for rtional prescribing, as stated by WHO: "Appropriate use of antibiotics [and other medicines] is only possible if healthcare workers and the public have access to reliable, unbiased information on medicines. Universal access to reliable information on medicines is readily achievable and should be a cornerstone of efforts to promote rational prescribing. There is an urgent need for concerted action." http://www.who.int/medicines/areas/rational_use/en/ It would be interesting to learn more. What information sources do prescribers use in Pakistan, and in other countries? For example, what is the extent of dependence on pharmaceutical promotional literature?
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Objectives: To find out prescription patterns of general practitioners in Peshawar.
Methods: Cross-sectional survey of drug prescriptions was done at six major hospitals and pharmacies of Peshawar between April and May 2011. A total of 1097 prescriptions that included 3640 drugs, were analyzed to assess completeness, average number of drugs, prescription frequency of various drug classes, and number of brands prescribed.
Results: No prescription contained all essential components of a prescription. Legibility was poor in 58.5% prescriptions. Physician's name and registration number were not mentioned in 89% and 98.2% prescriptions respectively. Over 78% prescriptions did not have diagnosis or indication mentioned. Dosage, duration of use, signature of physician and directions for taking drugs were not written in 63.8%, 55.4%, 18.5% and 10.9% of prescriptions respectively. On average each prescription included 3.32 drugs. Most frequently prescribed drug classes included analgesics (61.7%), anti-infective agents (57.2%), multi-vitamins (37.8%) and gastrointestinal drugs (34.4%). We found 206, 130, 105 and 101 different brands of anti-infective agents, gastrointestinal drugs, analgesics and multivitamins being prescribed.
Conclusion: We observed a high number of average drugs per prescription mostly using brand names, and over-prescription of analgesics, antimicrobials, multivitamins and anti-ulcer drugs. Quality of written prescriptions was poor in terms of completeness.
Formal literature type: