Evaluation of trends of drug-prescribing patterns based on WHO prescribing indicators at outpatient departments of four hospitals in southern Ethiopia

Temesgen Sidamo Summoro, Kassa Daka Gidebo, Zewde Zema Kanche, Eskinder Wolka Woticha
  • Drug Design Development and Therapy, August 2015, Dove Medical Press
  • DOI: 10.2147/dddt.s83588

Drug prescribing patterns in hospitals

What is it about?

This is a research conducted to evaluate the drug prescribing patterns in four Ethiopian hospitals. The evaluation is based on the world health organization's criteria for appropriate drug prescribing practice. We evaluated the average number of drugs prescribed, the percentage of drugs prescribed by generic name, the percentage of antibiotics per encounter, the percentage of injectable medicines per encounter and the percentage of drugs prescribed from the essential drug lists for Ethiopia (EDL) based on these WHO recommended prescribing indicators. Also we assessed the medications prescribed in the hospitals to identify the most frequently prescribed medications. Based on this evaluation it was found that there was overuse of antibiotics and injectable medications in the hospitals. Other WHO prescribing indicators are near to optimal though there was a slight deviations some from the recommended values. It was also found that the most frequently prescribed medications in the hospitals are antibiotics and analgesics. This evaluation did not include the link between the patient diagnosis and the prescribed medications because of the well documented records for the patient diagnosis and the prescribed medications.

Why is it important?

The evaluation is very important particularly to make some improvement in drug prescribing practices in the hospitals to ensure the safety of the patients as well as to ensure the optimum use of the medications to treat their illness. The evaluation also has implications on the public health since overuse of antibiotics accelerate the drug resistance which is a national and global challenge of treating infectious diseases effectively. Use of medications particularly antibiotics wisely is mandatory to guarantee the control of infectious disease.


Mr Temesgen Sidamo Summoro
Wolaita Sodo University

The author of this publication believes that though the efforts to bring new medications to market in the era of modern medicine to combat the ever increasing ailments is very important, it is equally important to ensure the optimum use of the existing drugs, particularly antibiotics. Drug resistance is a serious global challenge that threatens to nullify the advancement of modern medicine in controlling infectious disease. It is highly feared that drug resistance may take the world people to the pre-antibiotic era where a very simple infection effectively controlled by novel antibiotics would kill easily in the absence of the alternative antibiotics. The author believes that a significant global effort should be made to design the optimum medication use in order to maintain the efficacy of the existing drugs, to minimize the harms associated with their uses and to minimize the development of drug resistances. The author of this paper is a pharmacist and would love to join any global effort to overcome antimicrobial drug resistance.

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The following have contributed to this page: Mr Temesgen Sidamo Summoro, Dr Kassa Daka Gidebo, Mr Zewde Zema Kanche, and Mr Eskinder Wolka Woticha