Non-prescription sale and dispensing of antibiotics in community pharmacies in Zambia

Aubrey Chichonyi Kalungia, Johanita Burger, Brian Godman*, Juliana de Oliveira Costa, Chimwemwe Simuwelu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: In Zambia, antibiotics are categorized as prescription-only medicines. Antibiotics dispensed without a prescription pose a public health threat, which is a concern. Consequently, the aim is to ascertain the extent of non-prescription sales and dispensing of antibiotics in community pharmacies in Zambia. Methods: The practice of non-prescription sale and dispensing were assessed in 73 randomly selected community retail pharmacies, using a structured interviewer-administered questionnaire with simulated case scenarios. Results: Majority (97%) stated that clients frequently requested non-prescribed antibiotics. Interviewees usually asked clients’ indications (94%), counselled on dosing (96%) and suggested changes to antibiotic choices (97%). All (100%) dispensed non-prescribed antibiotics. Commonly dispensed antibiotics included amoxicillin (52%), cotrimoxazole (25%) and metronidazole (23%). Non-prescription sale and dispensing of antibiotics was significantly associated with interviewees’ professional qualification in four out of five simulations. Conclusion: Non-prescription sale and dispensing of antibiotics is widespread in Zambia. Concerted public and professional interventions are needed coupled with stronger regulatory enforcement to reduce this.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1215-1223
Number of pages9
JournalExpert Review of Anti-Infective Therapy
Volume14
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Antibiotics
  • Zambia
  • community pharmacy
  • dispensing
  • non-prescription sale

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