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Scand J Prim Health Care. 2000 Jun;18(2):94-8.

Wide variation in the number of different drugs prescribed by general practitioners. A prescription database study.

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  • 1Research Unit of General Practice, University of Southern Denmark, Odense.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To investigate the number of different drugs prescribed per dispensing unit and to analyse the influence of practice characteristics on this number.

DESIGN:

Register analysis based on the Odense Pharmacoepidemiological Database (OPED).

SETTING:

General practices in the County of Funen, Demnark.

SUBJECTS:

173 general practices (99 single-handed and 74 group practices).

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Number of different drugs prescribed per dispensing unit.

RESULTS:

The number of different drugs prescribed per dispensing unit varied nearly fourfold (range 102-381) and four practice characteristics were able to predict 74% of this variation. Practices with several doctors, a high number of patients listed per doctor, a high percentage of elderly individuals, and a heavy workload showed the highest number of different drugs prescribed.

CONCLUSION:

As the quality of drug prescribing is associated with the use of a limited number of drugs, it is suggested that GPs should agree on a formulary containing the most essential drugs in primary health care.

PMID:
10944063
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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