Drug Prescribing Trends among Consultants and General Practitioners in Sharjah-UAE


Background: Inappropriate prescribing can lead to errors in dispensing medications and serious problems for patients. Objectives: Prescription analysis can identify such drawbacks of prescribing, increase awareness of prescribers of rational prescribing and consequently lead to proper delivery of pharmaceutical care and enhance therapeutic outcomes. Methods: In the present study, prescriptions issued by consultants from a hospital and by general practitioners from private practice in Sharjah-United Arab Emirates were analyzed using indicators suggested by World Health Organizations. These include information with regard to prescriber, patient and the medication prescribed. We also determined the average number of drugs/encounter and % of prescriptions with antibiotics and those with injections. Data were collected and analyzed using Microsoft Excel and expressed in terms of both counts and percentages. Results: Almost all prescriptions were handwritten with easily readable ones being 65% for consultants and 46% for general practitioners. Average number of drugs/encounter was 2.1 and 2.8 for consultants and general practitioners, respectively. Antibiotics were prescribed in 27% and 44%; generic prescribing was 5% and 10% by consultants and general practitioners respectively and 8% of prescriptions by consultants contained injections. Variable results were obtained on information regarding the patient but consultants seem to be better in documenting patient’s age and gender. Consultants and general practitioners tend to prescribe 3 drugs and more in 35% and 25% respectively. The most commonly prescribed therapeutic classes for both groups of prescribers were NSAIDs and antibiotics with ibuprofen and amoxicillin-clavulanic acid combination being the most commonly prescribed drugs of each class. Conclusion: To improve prescription writing, interventions must include, among others, incorporation of topics on prescription writing in medical curriculum and programs of continuing medical education.

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I. Sharif, S. , Fazli, H. , Tajrobehkar, Y. , Namvar, Z. and M. T. Bugaighis, L. (2015) Drug Prescribing Trends among Consultants and General Practitioners in Sharjah-UAE. Pharmacology & Pharmacy, 6, 374-379. doi: 10.4236/pp.2015.68038.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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