Assessment of prescription patterns and drug use across the Kurdistan region


Assessment of prescription patterns and drug use across the Kurdistan region

Errors in drug prescriptions are the most common preventable medication errors encountered in clinical practices worldwide. The aim of this research is to examine the pattern of prescriptions and drug use in the Kurdistan region and to determine whether the drug prescribing was based on rational therapeutic consideration. A cross sectional-observational study was conducted in the Kurdistan region of Iraq over a period of five months. A total of 1000 prescriptions were selected randomly from different pharmacies and data obtained from each prescription. In these prescriptions a total of 2878 medications were prescribed. The percentage of medications including antibiotics, supplement, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and other painkillers 51.8%, 44.2%, 31.8%, and 21.8% per encounter respectively. The average number of drugs per prescription was 2.8. Drugs prescribed by generic name were 27% and more than 98 per cent of prescriptions were handwritten. The duration of therapy was mentioned in 56.5% of prescriptions. However, the dose and dosage form of medications were recorded 62% and 87.3% respectively. The percentage of prescriptions signed by the prescriber was 88.1%.

Our study reveals that the prescription pattern in Kurdistan region is poor in comparison with other systems used throughout the developed world, and the majority of medical practitioners are not adhering to the international standards of prescribing medications. The government authorities both ministry of health and the Kurdistan Syndicate of Pharmacists should encourage the rational use of medication in both the public and private sectors. This can be achieved through new applicable regulations and by formal interventions which can be done by pharmacists to make physicians aware of the situations in which they are likely to commit errors or through the application of proper training or the use of computerized prescriptions. Although handwritten prescriptions are generally quicker and simpler to complete, computerized prescriptions allowed the advantage of reducing the occurrence of human errors. It is also more favorable for a physician to prescribe using the medications generic name unless there are significant differences in bio equivalency or content between the same medicaments manufactured by different companies.

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Annie Grace Sarah

Editorial Assistant

Asian Journal of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences