Retrospective monitoring of drug utilisation in cardiovascular patients at a teaching hospital in Nigeria
This retrospective study was carried out to established drug prescribing trends in the management of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) in the cardiovascular unit of the Department of Medicine, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Rivers State, Nigeria. 100 folders of patients with various CVDs were randomly selected over a period of three years, 2003-2005. The retrieval was made possible with the aid of nurses register which contain patients name, age, sex and provisional diagnosis. 58 coherent folders were used for this study while 42 incoherent registers were excluded. The study revealed that of the 58 folders, 40(69.0%) were males and 18 (31%) were females with age
range of 28-80 years and a mean age of 49 years. A total of 13 CVDs were diagnosed. 40 patients (69.0%) had 2 CVDs, 16 patients (27.6%) had 3 CVDs and 2 patients (3.4%) had 4 CVDs. A range of 6-15 prescriptions was written per patient and a total of 520 prescriptions were generated with a mean of 8.97 prescriptions per patients. Also, a range of 2-6 drugs was written per prescription and a total of 1983 drugs were prescribed. Drugs in fifteen pharmacological class and three combination therapies were prescribed. A total of 1242 (62.6%) branded drugs and 741(37.4%) generic drugs were utilized in disease management. The present study represents the current prescribing trends of cardiovascular drugs and it highlights certain inadequacy in the existing prescribing practice. There are considerable scopes for improvement, particularly the over-utilization of branded drugs, antiplatelet agents and many other irrational prescribing in the present prescribing pattern of cardiovascular drugs.
Key words: Retrospective study, drug utilization, prescription monitoring, prescribing pattern, cardiovascular diseases