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      Evaluation of trends of drug-prescribing patterns based on WHO prescribing indicators at outpatient departments of four hospitals in southern Ethiopia

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          Rational prescribing is a primary step to ensure rational drug use. Often, half of the medicines are prescribed irrationally and half of these are even used incorrectly as the patients fail to take their medicines appropriately. The aim of this research was to evaluate drug-prescribing patterns of four hospitals in southern Ethiopia.


          A retrospective cross-sectional study was conducted between May 15 and June 25, 2014, to evaluate the drug-prescribing patterns based on the World health Organization (WHO) prescribing indicators. The prescription papers, kept for the last 1 year in the outpatient departments of the four hospitals, were analyzed according to WHO guidelines. Also, prescriptions in the hospitals were analyzed to determine the most frequently prescribed drugs. All the statistical calculations were performed using SPSS ® version 20.0 software.

          Results and discussion

          The average number of drugs per prescription ranges from 1.82±0.90 to 2.28±0.90, whereas the percentage of use of antibiotics and injections ranged from 46.7 to 85 and 15 to 61.7, respectively. The average percentages of drugs prescribed by generic name and from the essential drugs list were 95.8 and 94.1, respectively. Anti-infective and analgesic drugs are found to be the most frequently prescribed medicines. In terms of polypharmacy, there was a slight deviation in prescribing patterns from what is acceptable according to the WHO criteria. Prescribing by generic name and from essential drug list was almost optimal. There was a significant deviation in the use of injectables in two of the four hospitals (50%), whereas their use in the other two hospitals was within the acceptable range. The use of antibiotics in all the hospitals in present study was higher than the acceptable range.


          Generally, it seems that there is need for improvement of the prescribing patterns in the hospitals, although this should be consolidated with further studies to link the patient diagnosis and the prescribed medications.

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          Most cited references 22

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          Antimicrobial resistance — A ticking bomb!

           Vijay Yewale (2014)
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            Assessment of drug use pattern using WHO prescribing indicators at Hawassa University teaching and referral hospital, south Ethiopia: a cross-sectional study

            Background To promote rational drug use in developing countries, it is important to assess drug use pattern using the World Health Organization (WHO) drug use indicators. The aim of this study was to assess the drug prescription patterns at the Medical Outpatient Pharmacy of Hawassa University Teaching and Referral Hospital, using some of the WHO core drug use indicators. Methods A descriptive, quantitative, and cross-sectional survey was conducted to determine the current prescribing practices at Hawassa University Teaching and Referral Hospital. The sample was selected using systematic random sampling. 1290 patient encounters were reviewed retrospectively for a 2-year period from September 2007 to September 2009. Data were collected from prescriptions and Prescription registration books retained in the pharmacy. Result The average number of drugs prescribed per encounter or mean was 1.9 (SD 0.91) with a range between 1 and 4. The percentage of encounters in which an antibiotic or injection was prescribed was 58.1% (n = 749) and 38.1% (n = 491), respectively. The Percentage of drugs prescribed by generic name and from an essential drug list was 98.7% (n=2419) and 96.6% (n=2367), respectively. The most commonly prescribed forms of antibiotics were amoxicillin (16.4%), ampicillin (15%), gentamicin (14.9%) and chloramphenicol (11.6%). On the other hand, the most commonly prescribed injections were ampicillin (21.4%), cloxacillin (13.4%), crystalline penicillin (12.4%), ceftriaxon (9.8%) gentamicin (9.8%), diclofenac (9.4%), chloramphenicol 41 (8.4%) and furosemide 25 (5.1%). Conclusion On the basis of the finding of this study, the prescribing practices for antibiotic and injection shows deviation from the standard recommended by WHO. These two commonly overused and costly forms of drug therapy need to be regulated closely. Drug use evaluation should be done for some of the antibiotics to check whether they were appropriately prescribed or not. On the other hand, polypharmacy, generic prescribing and prescribing from EDL were not found to be a problem in this study. Teaching hospitals have a special responsibility to society to promote rational prescribing by their staff and, through them, the future generations of doctors.
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              Use of injections in healthcare settings worldwide, 2000: literature review and regional estimates.

              To describe injection practices worldwide in terms of frequency and safety. Literature review. The global burden of disease project of the World Health Organization defined 14 regions on the basis of geography and mortality patterns. Data sources included published studies and unpublished WHO reports. Studies were reviewed by using a standardised decision making algorithm to generate region specific estimates. Healthcare facilities, both formal and informal. General population and users of healthcare facilities. Annual number of injections per person and proportion of injections administered with syringes or needles, or both, reused in the absence of sterilisation. The analysis excluded four regions (predominantly affluent, developed nations) where reuse of injection equipment in the absence of sterilisation was assumed to be negligible. In the 10 other regions, the annual ratio of injections per person ranged from 1.7 to 11.3. Of these, the proportion administered with equipment reused in the absence of sterilisation ranged from 1.2% to 75.0%. Reuse was highest in the South East Asia region "D" (seven countries, mostly located in South Asia), the eastern Mediterranean region "D" (nine countries, mostly located in the Middle East crescent), and the western Pacific region "B" (22 countries). No information regarding injection safety was available for Latin America. Overuse of injections and unsafe practices are still common in developing and transitional countries. An urgent need exists to use injections safely and appropriately, to prevent healthcare associated infections with HIV and other bloodborne pathogens.

                Author and article information

                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Dove Medical Press
                10 August 2015
                : 9
                : 4551-4557
                [1 ]School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences and Medicine, Wolaita Sodo University, Wolaita Sodo, Ethiopia
                [2 ]School of Public Health, College of Health Sciences and Medicine, Wolaita Sodo University, Wolaita Sodo, Ethiopia
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Temesgen Sidamo Summoro, School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences and Medicine, Wolaita Sodo University, PO Box 138, Wolaita Sodo, Ethiopia, Tel +251 91 109 3567, Email teme.yene2003@ 123456gmail.com
                © 2015 Summoro et al. This work is published by Dove Medical Press Limited, and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License

                The full terms of the License are available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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