Survey and evaluation of prescription drugs dispensed without a valid prescription in three community pharmacies of South India

Y. Reshma Bhat, L.D. Acharya, P.G.M. Rao, K.G. Sam

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A six-month surveillance study was carried out in three community pharmacies of south India to determine the dispensing pattern of schedule H drugs and the factors that influence the purchase of such drugs without a prescription and to evaluate whether the dispensing practice adheres to the legal requirements. The study was carried out by monitoring the customers for two months in each of the three community pharmacies and those who visited without a valid prescription were interviewed and data were documented in the forms prepared for the purpose. It was observed that in all the community pharmacies drugs were being dispensed extensively without valid prescription. The quantity of Schedule H drugs dispensed without a prescription was higher in proportion as compared with over the counter drugs dispensed at a ratio of 1.55:1 (1149: 741). The overall sale of prescription legend drugs of Schedule H without a valid prescription in all the three pharmacies was higher 61% as compared to 39% of over the counter drugs. Previous prescription issued by the physician had a major influence on the purchase of schedule H drugs without a written medication order. This study infers that the drugs belonging to schedule H were extensively dispensed without prescription in all the community pharmacies. Factors that encourage such sales are under the purview of the pharmacists and hence the prevention of such unethical practice can be initiated by the pharmacists themselves. The government may also play a central role by enforcing strict rules in India. These efforts will certainly help to promote rational dispensing practice and minimize the harm associated with indiscriminate use of drugs. © APTI.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)256-261
Number of pages6
JournalIndian Journal of Pharmaceutical Education and Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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