Evaluation of Rational Use of Medicines according to the World Health Organization Prescribing Indicators: A Cross-sectional Study from Palestine

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Shadid, Maram
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جامعة النجاح الوطنية
Background: Rational use of medications is a global goal which is very important in achieving quality of health for patients and the whole population. Objectives: To evaluate the rational use of medicines in Palestine according to the World Health Organization/International Network for the Rational Use of Drugs (WHO\INRUD) core drug use indicators using prescribing indicators and compare it with others. Method: The study was a retrospective cross-sectional study. A sample of 2000 prescription was collected from 20 primary health care centers from 10 governorates in the West Bank of Palestine. Data collected included age, date, number of medications in every prescription, number of generics, number of medications from Essential Drug List (EDL), number of prescriptions containing injections and number of antibiotics. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 20. Result: The 2000 prescriptions included 4380 medications. The average number of medications was 2.19±1.24 (WHO goal is ≤ 2), percent of antibiotics was 43.8% (WHO goal is ≤ 30%), percent of antibiotics in children was 59.9%, percent of generic name use was 26.44% (WHO goal is 100%), percent of injections was 10% (WHO goal is ≤ 10%) and percent of drugs from EDL was 99.25% (WHO goal is 100%). There were significant differences between the 20 primary health centers studied in the WHO prescribing indicators. Conclusion: Some indicators were close to the WHO goals while others were very far from the goals. Irrational use of medications was noticed. Overuse of antibiotics specially in children and low use of generic names were the most prominent manifestations of such irrational drug prescribing. Efforts are needed to improve the situation