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J Clin Epidemiol. 2002 Nov;55(11):1148-55.

Improving private pharmacy practice: a multi-intervention experiment in Hanoi, Vietnam.

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Hanoi Medical University, Vietnam.


The objective of this study was to assess the effects of a multicomponent intervention on private pharmacy practice. From 641 private pharmacies in Hanoi, 68 pharmacies were randomly selected and matched into 34 pairs. Each pair consisted of a control and an intervention pharmacy. Three interventions were applied sequentially: Regulatory enforcement, Education, and Peer influence. Four tracer conditions were selected: uncomplicated acute respiratory infection (ARI), sexually transmitted disease (STD), requesting the prescription-only drugs prednisolone, and a short course of cefalexin. Practice was assessed through the Simulated Client Method (SCM). The intervention pharmacies improved significantly compared to the control pharmacies (P <.05) in all tracer conditions. For ARI, antibiotic dispensing decreased (P <.02) and questions regarding breathing increased (P <.01). For STD, advice to go to the doctor and dispensing the correct syndromic treatment increased (P <.01). Dispensing of prednisolone and cefalexin decreased (P <.01) and prescription requests increased (P <.01). Our conclusion is that it is possible to improve private pharmacy practice with a multicomponent intervention.

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