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Research Paper Open Access
A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted to assess quality of dispensing and knowledge of dispensers in 206 private retail pharmacies. The study was conducted in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania between September 2011 and April 2012. Patient simulation (mystery shopper) approach was used to assess dispensing skills of drug dispensers for prescription only medicines. In assessing dispensing skills, a 7-days course of metronidazole tablets was bought from each pharmacy. The knowledge of drug dispenser's regarding dispensing of prescription only medicines was assessed through focus group discussions and interviews. Majority (70.4%) of drug dispensers were not trained pharmaceutical personnel. The level of dispensing skills ranged from low (25.7%) to medium (70.4%). Majority of drug dispensers had low (11.4%) to medium (83.2%) levels of knowledge about dispensing of 'prescription only' medicines. From these findings, it is recommended that the national Pharmacy Council should ensure that prescription only medicines are dispensed by trained pharmaceutical personnel. On job training and continuing professional development should also be emphasized to build capacity of drug dispensers.
Dispensing, knowledge, prescription only medicines, drug dispensers, pharmacy