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Assessment of WHO/INRUD core drug use indicators in two tertiary care hospitals of Bahawalpur, Punjab, Pakistan

Overview of attention for article published in Journal of Pharmaceutical Policy and Practice, September 2016
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Assessment of WHO/INRUD core drug use indicators in two tertiary care hospitals of Bahawalpur, Punjab, Pakistan
Published in
Journal of Pharmaceutical Policy and Practice, September 2016
DOI 10.1186/s40545-016-0076-4
Pubmed ID

Muhammad Atif, Muhammad Rehan Sarwar, Muhammad Azeem, Danial Umer, Abdul Rauf, Arslan Rasool, Muhammad Ahsan, Shane Scahill


Medicines are a main therapeutic intervention provided within hospitals and their proper use in the outpatient setting is important for patients and the community. The objective of this study was to evaluate drug use patterns in the outpatient departments (OPDs) of two tertiary care hospitals (Bahawal Victoria Hospital and Civil Hospital) in the Bahawalpur district of the Punjab province of Pakistan by employing the standard World Health Organization/International Network of Rational Use of Drugs (WHO/INRUD) drug use indicators. A descriptive, cross-sectional study design was employed. For assessing the prescribing indicators a sample of 2400 prescriptions were systematically reviewed out of a total of 1,560,000 prescriptions written from 1st April 2014 to 31st March 2015. A total of 600 randomly selected patients and all pharmacy personnel were observed and interviewed to investigate the patient-care and facility-specific indicators. We used the published ideal standards for each of the WHO/INRUD indicators for comparison purposes. Among the prescribing indicators, the average number of drugs per prescription was 2.8 (SD = 1.3), the drugs prescribed by generic name were 56.6 %, the encounters with an antibiotic prescribed were 51.5 %, no injections were prescribed and 98.8 % of the drugs prescribed were from the Essential Drugs List (EDL). Among the patient-care indicators, the average consultation time was 1.2 min (SD = 0.8), the average dispensing time was 8.7 s (SD = 4.9), the percentage of drugs actually dispensed was 97.3 %, the percentage of drugs adequately labeled was 100 % and the patients' knowledge of correct dosage schedule was 61.6 %. Among the facility-specific indicators, all OPDs had a copy of the EDL and 72.4 % of the key drugs were available in stock. Irrational use of drugs was observed in both OPDs. Polypharmacy, brand prescribing, over-prescribing of antibiotics, short consultation and dispensing times, lack of patients' knowledge about prescribed medicines and unavailability of all key drugs in stock were the major issues that need attention of the healthcare authorities. This study necessitates the requirement to implement the relevant WHO recommended core interventions to promote rational use of medicines in these hospital-based OPDs.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 66 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Nepal 1 2%
Unknown 65 98%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 18 27%
Student > Bachelor 13 20%
Student > Doctoral Student 6 9%
Student > Ph. D. Student 6 9%
Researcher 5 8%
Other 11 17%
Unknown 7 11%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Science 28 42%
Medicine and Dentistry 13 20%
Nursing and Health Professions 7 11%
Engineering 2 3%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 2 3%
Other 5 8%
Unknown 9 14%