East African Journal of Public Health

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Public knowledge, attitude and perception of over the counter medicines:Case study in Dar es Salaam region, Tanzania.

M Justin-Temu, DK Mwambete, D Nyaki


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to investigate on misuse, abuse and the general public opinion as well as perception of OTC medicines.
Methods: Data were collected, by face-to-face interview guided with a semi-structured questionnaire. The key questions focused on
community attitude towards retail pharmacy, use of OTC medicines, views on OTC in terms of safety and effectiveness and knowledge and
opinion on misuse and abuse of OTC medicines. The collected data were coded and statistically analyzed using EPI-Info version 6 database.
Results: Out of 270 interviewees, 50% admitted to have had visited retail pharmacies at least once per month. More than half of the
participants (64.1%) reported to having been buying OTC medicines at least once in a month and 55.7% used the medicines as per
containers label or leaflets‘ instructions The public demonstrated high awareness on the potential misuse of OTC medicines.
Conclusion: The study revealed a high level of awareness on the potential abuse of OTC medicines and positive perception with regard to safety and effectiveness of OTC medicines. From these findings, it shows those pharmacists need to be more proactive in the management of inappropriate OTC drug use.
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