Assessment of the dispensing practices of drug retail outlets in selected towns, north west Ethiopia.Ethiop Med J. 2006 Apr; 44(2):145-50.EM
Ethical dispensing of drugs and medicinal products is an integral component of rational drug therapy. Nevertheless, this essential health issue apparently has a large commercial aspect. This study was conducted to assess the dispensing practices of pharmacies and rural drug vendor shops in selected towns of northwest Ethiopia.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
In this cross-sectional study, all private pharmacies (totally 3) and rural drug vendor shops (totally 9) were included in the study. The dispensing activities, condition of the dispensing environment, dispensed drugs and other relevant information were recorded on a structured protocol. In total, the dispensing procedures for 74 clients in pharmacies and 194 clients in rural drug vendor shops were observed (each premise was visited only once).
The results demonstrated that all premises possessed clean dispensing environment. The average dispensing time was 1,86 minutes in Pharmacies and 1.7 minutes in rural drug vendor shops. The dispensing of prescription-only medications without a medical prescription was higher in rural drug vendor shops (68.8%) than in Pharmacies (7.3%). The provision of verbal (about 87%) and written (about 66%) instructions was similar in both pharmacies and rural drug vendor shops.
The dispensing environment and storage conditions are satisfactory. However, the dispensing of prescription-only-medications without medical prescription was more frequent particularly in rural drug vendor shops. The provision of drug-related information especially labeling of the dispensed medications was not satisfactory in both types of drug retail outlets. Implementation of training programs and supervisory visits are recommended for the improvement of dispensing practices and application of code of Ethics.