Assessment of Prescriptions Patterns and Drug Use across the Kurdistan Region
Background: Errors in drug prescriptions are the most common preventable medication errors encountered in clinical practices worldwide. The purpose of this study is to examine the pattern of prescriptions and drug use in the Kurdistan region and to determine whether prescription patterns are based on rational therapeutic considerations.
Methods: A cross sectional-observational study was conducted in the Kurdistan region of Iraq over a period of five months. A total of 1000 prescriptions were selected randomly from different pharmacies and data obtained from each prescription. In these prescriptions a total of 2878 medications were prescribed. After collection, excel software was then used to perform calculations.
Results: The average number of drugs per prescription was calculated to be 2.8. Drugs prescribed by generic name were 27% and more than 98 percent of prescriptions were handwritten. The duration of therapy was mentioned in 56.5% of prescriptions. However, the dose and dosage form of medications were recorded 62% and 87.3% respectively. The percentage of prescriptions containing a signature was 88.1%. Furthermore, the percentage of antibiotics, supplements, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and other painkillers were prescribed at a rate of 51.8%, 44.2%, 31.8%, and 21.8% per prescription.
Conclusion: Whilst observing the data we can conclude that the rate of drugs written per prescription is much higher than the suggested World Health Organization (WHO0 average. Prescribing errors are one of the most common preventable causes of medication errors and the use of electronic prescriptions may play a huge role in ameliorating this fact.
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