Pattern of drug utilization among outpatients in a teaching hospital of north India
Drug utilization study using prescribing indicators enables us to detect and also to quantify problems in prescribing practices. Such study helps to frame appropriate interventions based on type of problems and ultimately promotes rational use of drugs in the community. This descriptive study was undertaken at a recently started teaching hospital of rural area of Barabanki district of north India with objectives to generate the data on drug utilization of hospital and to suggest appropriate interventions in an attempt to rationalize the medical care provided by the practitioners of this hospital. The data collected from outpatient prescriptions were analyzed to calculate the average number of drugs per encounter and the other parameters of prescribing indicators. Prescribed drugs were categorized into different therapeutic groups to get pattern in drug prescribing. A total of 1101 patients were prescribed a total of 2942 drugs. The average number of drugs per encounter was 2.6. Antibiotics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antihistaminics, drugs for acid peptic disorders and multivitamins were five most commonly prescribed therapeutic groups. Encounters with an antibiotic were approximately 42%. Only 12.6 % drugs were prescribed by generic name and approximately 42% drugs matched with essential drugs list. Polypharmacy, over-prescribing of antibiotics, prescribing by brand name and out of formulary are some of the important problems that seek proper attention of the practitioners. Institution of hospital formulary, strict antibiotic prescribing policy and educational interventions can help to rectify these problems.