African Health Sciences

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Use of a pilot drug information centre

AW Tumwikirize, JW Ogwal-Okeng, A Vernby, WW Anokbonggo, LL Gustafsson, CS Lundborg


Introduction: Provision of access to drug information by prescribers and other health care professionals is important in pharmacotherapy. At the time of this study there was very scanty literature in this area from Africa. Objective: To assess use of a pilot drug information centre (DIC) which was set up in a department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics in a university teaching hospital in Uganda. Methods: This was a situational analysis with a prospective study design. The pilot DIC was established and its use over an eleven-month period was assessed. The received queries were evaluated for source of the query, reason for the query and type of query. Results: During the 11 months 297 queries were received, 72.3% of which were from public hospitals. Most werefrom prescribing doctors (54.2%). Majority were on drug-drug interaction (41.2%), followed by therapy (23.2%). Out of 197 specific drug requests, 65.5% were on antiretroviral. Conclusion: We found that healthcare professionals were enthusiastically using the drug information centre. It is, therefore, necessary and feasible to establish a DIC in Uganda that will enable these professionals to readily access drug information.

African Health Sciences 2011; 11(3): 493 - 498

AJOL African Journals Online