Community pharmacists’ perception of and practice with drug package inserts in UAE

Suleiman I. Sharif, Jalal Edien M.W. Alkharrat, Lubna A. Khaled, Nour Elhouda Arafeh, Sana Y. Birawi


Background: Written information in drug package inserts (DPIs) is important source of information for doctors and pharmacists. Objectives: The present study was undertaken to evaluate the knowledge, perception and practice of community pharmacists with information in the DPIs, and their views on their usefulness.

Methods: Seventy five pre-piloted questionnaires were distributed to community pharmacists in the United Arab Emirates. The questionnaire included questions covering demographics of pharmacists and whether they read and rely on DPI as a source of information. Pharmacists were also asked to evaluate and categorize DPI information with respect to the ease for patient use. The data were analyzed and are expressed as frequency and percentage.

Results: The response rate was 90.7%. The majority (52, 76.5%) of pharmacists were in the age range of 20-39 years, with bachelor of pharmacy degree (50, 73.5%) and having 1-10 years of practice experience (48, 70.6%). Two thirds of the respondents obtained their degree outside the UAE. The majority (60, 88.2%) of pharmacists read the DPIs of prescription and OTC drugs, for all the information and think it is useful (67, 98.5%). Most participants think DPI is useful to patients and advise them to read it. The majority (49, 72.1%) of pharmacists believe that DPI are clear to read but their content should be shorter (46, 67.6%) and limited to the most important information (51, 75%). More pharmacists with a degree from outside UAE do not read the DPIs (p < 0.003), and find DPIs easily understood (P <0.008). More pharmacists with 1-5 years’ experience advise their patients to read the DPIs (P<0.033).

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that there is a need for improving the content of drug package inserts to provide the necessary information required not only for health care professionals but also patients to further enhance their acceptance of and compliance with their medications.


Community pharmacists, Drug package inserts, Knowledge, Perception, Practice

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