Patient sources for drug information in Iran: A questionnaire-based survey
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Objectives To identify sources used by patients to obtain drug-related information and to find which portion of patients study the Patient Information Leaflet (PIL). Methods A cluster random sampling was used to select 19 community pharmacies in Shiraz, Iran, from 192 pharmacies registered by Food and Drug Office of Shiraz University of Medical Sciences. Using a questionnaire, an independent assessor surveyed outpatients immediately after their prescriptions were dispensed. Results were subjected to statistical analysis. Results Total of 671 patients were interviewed, of which 188 patients (28%) reported they received no information from pharmacists or physicians and 169 patients (25%) received their medications without prescription. Nearly half of the patients (46%) were informed on the frequency of use and dose of their medications. Very few patients (6%) were appropriately informed about the frequency of use, dosage, duration of treatment, and potential side effects, allergies and drug interactions. Patients with college education used PILs as a source of information more than those with lower education levels. Conclusion A significant portion of patients obtained medicines without a prescription. Only a few portion of patients in Shiraz received adequate drug information from their physician or pharmacist. A considerable portion of patients did not study PILs.
KeywordsDeveloping Countries Drug information Iran Patient Information Leaflet
The authors gratefully acknowledge the insightful comments of Mrs. Azar Khaksar on earlier drafts of this manuscript.
The present research did not receive extramural funding.
Conflicts of Interest
- 6.World Health Organization. Rational Use of Medicines: Activities. http://www.who.int/medicines/areas/rational_use/rud_activities/en/index.html (accessed April 2008).