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East Mediterr Health J. 2017 Dec 14;23(10):649-656. doi: 10.26719/2017.23.10.649.

Drug utilization in primary healthcare centres in the Gaza Strip.

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Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Human Medicine, Al-Azhar University, Gaza Strip, Palestine.
General Administration of Pharmacy, Ministry of Health, Gaza Strip, Palestine.


in English, Arabic, French

This study was carried out to analyse drug-prescribing practices in primary healthcare centres (PHCs) in the Gaza Strip. We retrospectively evaluated 2569 prescriptions from 22 PHCs during January-December 2014. Systematic random sampling was applied. Analysis followed the World Health Organization recommended core prescribing indicators. The mean number of drugs prescribed per encounter was 2 (standard deviation 0.9); the percentage of drugs prescribed by generic name was 10.1%; and 67.5% of prescriptions contained an antibiotic followed by analgesics (39.4%). Major omission errors were found in 89.5% of all prescriptions. For all drugs prescribed, drug duration, strength, frequency, dose and dosage form were not mentioned in 79.3%, 65.4%, 30.6%, 23.3% and 12.5% of prescriptions, respectively. Nonofficial abbreviations were used to write 87.4% of prescriptions. There is a clear need to develop standards for drug prescribing, standard treatment guidelines for drug use, along with continuing medical education programmes, and the implementation of monitoring systems to ensure that they are adhered to.

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