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Methods: A sample of residents was given blank prescription orders to write prescriptions for uncomplicated malaria. This was followed the next day by educational intervention which focused on the World Health Organization’s ‘P Drug Concept’ using malaria as a case study. One week later, the initial survey was repeated. Baseline and post-intervention prescriptions were matched by consensus between the authors and scored. Data were analyzed with SPSS version 16.0 using paired t tests for prescription scores.
Results: Forty-six residents participated in the baseline survey and 49 postintervention; 31 pairs of prescriptions matched. Artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) accounted for 81% of antimalarials prescribed at baseline, 75% of which were in brand names. No prescription stated dosage in milligrams at baseline. Generic prescribing improved with less than 50% of prescriptions written in brand names post-intervention (p = 0.001). One resident provided instructions for labelling post-intervention.
Conclusion: Focused educational intervention resulted in improved generic
prescribing of antimalarials in this experimental setting. Routine academic
meetings should provide opportunities which can be inexpensively used for
interventions to improve the utilization of medicines in Nigerian health care