Title

Private drug sellers education in improving prescribing practices

Document Type

Article

Department

Family Medicine

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To determine the education of private drug sellers as an intervention tool in promoting rational use of medicines for diarrhoea at private drug outlets in a rural setting.
PLACE AND DURATION OF STUDY: The study was conducted at Mithi, Tharparkar in rural Sindh in August 2005.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Diarrhea was selected to study drug-prescribing habit of private drug sellers. Evidence-based guidelines for control of diarrhea were developed along with simulation cases and keys. In phase-1, simulators were sent to 6 private drug sellers and their prescription was noted. After phase-1, 3 private drug sellers were educated about prescribing, while in the other 3, there was no intervention. In phase-2, simulators were sent again and prescriptions by private drug sellers was noted.
RESULTS: The work experience of private drug sellers was between 5 to 15 years. Two private drug sellers were employed at each of the drug outlet with education between matriculation and graduation. All the private drug sellers prescribed medicines to customers with confidence. The private drug sellers prescribed medicines to customers on a daily basis that included all categories of medications. Amoebicidals, Anti-diarrheals, antispasmodics, antibiotics, analgesics and oral rehydration solutions were prescribed by 22(38.6%), 10(17.5%), 3(4.9%), 10(17.5%), 3(5.3%) and 9(15.8%) private drug sellers prior to intervention respectively. It changed to 0(0%), 6 (14%), 0(0%) 0 (0%), 4 (9.3%) and 16(37.2%) postintervention respectively. Referral to hospital for serious cases increased after intervention.
CONCLUSION: The rational use of medicines can be promoted by providing education to private drug sellers. Further studies and education programs for private drug sellers are strongly recommended across the country.

Publication

Journal of College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan