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Current scenario of attitude and knowledge of physicians about rational prescription: A novel cross-sectional study

Author(s): Mahajan Rajiv | Singh Navyug | Singh Jaswinder | Dixit Alok | Jain Amit | Gupta Ashwani

Journal: Journal of Pharmacy and Bioallied Sciences
ISSN 0975-7406

Volume: 2;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 132;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: Essential medicines | evidence-based medicine | P-drugs | physicians | rational use of medicines

Background: In the last 30 years concepts in pharmacology have moved from Essential Medicines (EM) to P-drugs via the Rational Use of Medicines (RUM), but no structured study has evaluated the level of understanding among the working clinicians about these concepts. Aim: The present study was designed to assess the attitude and knowledge of clinical practitioners about the concepts of RUM, EM, P-drugs, and sources of drug-information, across North India. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out in and around the teaching hospitals attached to Medical Colleges, enrolling 504 clinicians from six centers across North India to fill-up a questionnaire containing 25 questions. Statistical Analysis: The results were compiled using percentages and averages. Univariate analysis, which explores each variable in a data set separately, was carried out by using the Fisher′s exact test. Results: Only one-fourth of the participants claimed that they always prescribed Essential Medicine; no one could correctly count the number of drugs / drug combinations in the Indian Essential Drug list; only 15.1% of the clinicians wrote the generic names of drugs on the prescription slip; about one-third of clinicians were not fully aware about the adverse effects, drug interactions, and contraindications of the drugs they prescribed; about 83% of physicians admitted to relying on information from Medical Representatives and an interest in research activities seemed to be lost. Conclusion: Results show a sorry state of affairs among clinicians, as far as the level of understanding about EM, P-drugs, and RUM is concerned, and it points toward arranging more continuing medical education (CME) for clinicians with regard to these concepts.

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