Practices regarding prescription and dispensing of drugs in a tertiary care hospital in rural West Bengal, India

Alapan Bandyopadhyay, Debdut Dhar, Abhijit Mukherjee, Sharmistha Bhattacherjee, Samir Dasgupta


Background: Irrational prescription practices are a distressing global problem, especially in the developing countries. A study was conducted to assess the patterns of prescribing and dispensing drugs in a tertiary healthcare centre serving a large rural population in the eastern India.

Methods: A cross-sectional observational study was conducted from July-September 2016 in the general out-patient department and the institution pharmacy of a tertiary care hospital of West Bengal, India. Data were congregated by collection and review of individual prescriptions, measuring the time of interaction between patients and prescribers/dispensers, and conducting patient interviews at exit.

Results: Analysis of the collected and tabulated data revealed that after average, 2.5 medicines were prescribed per prescription, with 95.26% being under their generic name. Of the drugs prescribed, 95.79% were from the essential drug list. The average consultation time was 150.0s (SD 62.3s) and average dispensing time was 81.5s (SD 51.2s). Of the drugs prescribed, 86.12% of drugs were actually dispensed from the institution pharmacy but none of the drugs were labeled. The percentage of prescriptions with an antibiotic was 47.83%, while injections were recorded on in 2.83% of the prescriptions. Percentage of patients who had knowledge of the dosage of the drugs prescribed to them was 91.67%.

Conclusions: While the study found high percentages of drugs prescribed under generic names high percentage of drugs actually prescribed from the Institution Pharmacy, prescription of drugs from the Essential Drugs List, and a low number of injections per prescription conforming to WHO set standards, it also found a lack of drug labelling, high percentage of prescription of antibiotics to be indicators that do not conform with the WHO set international standards.


Drug use indicators, Rational drug use, West Bengal

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