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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 48  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 360-364

Drug dispensing practices at pharmacies in Bengaluru: A cross-sectional study

Department of Pharmacology, Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute, Fort, Kalasipalyam, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
R Soumya
Department of Pharmacology, Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute, Fort, Kalasipalyam, Bengaluru, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0253-7613.186204

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Objectives: Pharmacists are one of the crucial focal points for health care in the community. They have tremendous outreach to the public as pharmacies are often the first-port-of-call. With the increase of ready-to-use drugs, the main health-related activity of a pharmacist today is to assure the quality of dispensing, a key element to promote rational medicine use. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study of 200 pharmacies, 100 each in various residential (R) and commercial (C) areas of Bengaluru, was conducted using a prevalidated questionnaire administered to the chief pharmacist or the person-in-charge by the investigators. Results: Dispensing without prescription at pharmacies was 45% of the total dispensing encounters and significantly higher (c2 = 15.2, P< 0.001, df = 1) in pharmacies of residential areas (46.64%) as compared to commercial areas (43.64%). Analgesics were the most commonly dispensed drugs (90%) without prescription. Only 31% insisted on dispensing full course of antibiotics prescribed and 19% checked for completeness of prescription before dispensing. Although 97% of the pharmacies had a refrigerator, 31% of these did not have power back-up. Only about 50% of the pharmacists were aware of Schedule H. Conclusion: This study shows a high proportion of dispensing encounters without prescription, a higher rate of older prescription refills, many irregularities in medication counseling and unsatisfactory storage practices. It also revealed that about half of the pharmacists were unaware of Schedule H and majority of them about current regulations. Hence, regulatory enforcement and educational campaigns are a prerequisite to improve dispenser's knowledge and dispensing practices.


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