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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 76-82

Drug prescription behavior: A cross-sectional study in public health facilities in two states of North India


1 Centre for Operational Research, International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, The Union South East Asia Office, New Delhi; School of Public Health, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India
2 School of Public Health, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Shankar Prinja
School of Public Health, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Sector-12, Chandigarh - 160 012
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/picr.PICR_75_17

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Background: Poor prescription practices result in increased side effects, adverse drug reactions, and high cost of treatment. The present study was undertaken to describe the drug-prescribing patterns in two North Indian states through prescription auditing. Materials and Methods: The study was carried out in 80 public health facilities across 12 districts in two states of Haryana and Punjab (6 in each) covering all levels of care. The information from prescription slips was abstracted on a structured pro forma for all patients who visited the pharmacy of the health facility. Results: A total of 1609 prescriptions were analyzed. On an average, 2.2 drugs were prescribed per patient. Nearly 84% of the drugs were prescribed from the essential drug list (EDL). Antibiotics were prescribed in 45.3% of prescriptions, followed by vitamins (34.8%) and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (33.9%). Drugs were prescribed in their generic names in 70% of cases. Diseases of the ear, nose, and throat (18%) were most common followed by the diseases of the gastrointestinal and renal (17%) and musculoskeletal system (16%). Only 40% of children suffering from diarrhea received oral rehydration salts while 80% of them received antibiotics. Among cases of upper respiratory tract infection, nearly 75% received antibiotics. Conclusion: The results of this study raise concerns about the overuse of antibiotics although most of the drugs (84%) were from the EDL and in generic names (70%). There is lack of data regarding prescription practices which necessitates real-time prescription monitoring through online data entry and transmission.


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