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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 45  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 252-257

Assessment of prescribing practices among urban and rural general practitioners in Tamil Nadu

Department of Community Medicine, SRM Medical College Hospital and Research Center, Kattankulathur, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Parasuraman Ganeshkumar
Department of Community Medicine, SRM Medical College Hospital and Research Center, Kattankulathur, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0253-7613.111931

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Background: Studying drug use pattern among medical practitioners is of vital importance in the present scenario where irrational drug use and development of drug resistance is becoming rampant. Objective: To assess, the pattern of prescribing practices among the general practitioners in a defined rural and urban area of Tamil Nadu. Materials and Methods: A community based descriptive study was conducted to collect 600 prescriptions from the catchment areas of rural and urban health training centers of a medical college using prescribing indicators as per the WHO "How to investigate drug use in health facilities" tool. Results: This prescription study revealed that multivitamins (19.5%), antibiotics (19.3%), drugs for gastro-intestinal tract (GIT) (18%), analgesic non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs/ (NSAID's) (15.1%), and antihistaminic (12.5%) were prescribed frequently. Among the antibiotics, amoxicillin (49.2%) was the most commonly prescribed followed by gentamicin (31.7%). Percentage of prescriptions with an antibiotic was 55% and nearly 62% of the practitioners prescribed drugs by their generic names. As a practice of poly-pharmacy, it was observed that the average number of drugs prescribed in urban and rural area was nearly 5 and 4, respectively. Nearly 80% of the urban and rural practitioners were prescribing at least one injection. Study of the quality of prescriptions revealed that there was poor legibility, high usage of abbreviations, inadequate details of the drugs, and absence of signature by practitioners in the prescriptions. Conclusion: This study clearly highlights the practice of poly-pharmacy, low usage of generic drugs, injudicious usage of antibiotics and injections and low usage of drugs prescribed from essential drugs list.


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