Assessment of Knowledge, Qualification, Experience, and Medication Dispensing Practices in South Karachi, Pakistan
Background: Drug stores in Pakistan are run by dispensers with varied knowledge, qualification, and experience. The current study was sought to explore the knowledge, qualification, experience, and dispensing practices among dispensers working in drugstores in South Karachi, Pakistan.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey was carried out using a structured questionnaire. Data were collected from medical stores in South Karachi which were then categorized, coded, and analyzed using SPSS version 23. Relationship among different study variables with pharmacist’s availability and personal experience was assessed using statistical non-parametric Chi-square test. A total of 385 samples obtained using a simple random sampling method were included in the study. However, only 210 responses on questionnaire were complete which were then selected for study analysis between October and December 2018.
Results: Of the 210 surveyed drugstores, 9% of their staff had studied only till primary school, 5.7% till the eighth grade, 25.2% up to secondary school level, 26.7% till higher secondary school level, 15.7% had non-professional education, and 8.1% were professional graduate. Only 9% of them had a degree in Pharm. D or B. Pharm, while 0.5% had a post-graduation qualification. Furthermore, 44.8% of pharmacies had a valid pharmacy license but the pharmacist was physically absent in 91% of the drugstores. Majority of pharmacies did not maintain appropriate temperature (refrigerator and/or room temperature). Majority of dispensers did not review prescription particulars before dispensing medications and also dispensed medications on older prescriptions as well as without prescription.
Conclusion: In conclusion, the overall knowledge and practices of dispensers working in drugstores was poor. However, the presence of pharmacist was associated with good dispensing practices to a certain extent.
Keywords: community pharmacy, good dispensing practice, pharmacist, prescription review
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