The Extent and Factors Associated with Non-Prescription Medicine Use in Eastern India – A Cross-Sectional Survey

    Published on:October 2017
    Journal of Young Pharmacists, 2017; 9(4):583-587
    Original Article | doi:10.5530/jyp.2017.9.111

    Manisha Das1, Supriyo Choudhury1, Ranjita Santra (Dhali)2*, Rituparna De1, Ranendra Kumar Roy1

    1Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine & Sagore Dutta Hospital, Kolkata-700058, West Bengal, INDIA.

    2Department of Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology, Calcutta School of Tropical Medicine, Kolkata-700073, West Bengal, INDIA.


    Objective: To assess the extent, pattern and determinants of non-prescription medicine use in an urban area of eastern India. Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional survey with total 392 subjects was carried out for 3 months by a structured questionnaire to assess the extent, pattern and determinants of non-prescription medicine use amongst the patients at a community retail medicine shop and a pharmacy running in Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model in a government hospital. Results: Our study found that 61.4% of the consumers indulged in the practice of self-medication. The commonest reason for self medication was a prevailing tendency in the community followed by cost-saving and convenience. The most commonly used medicines were antacids (43.4%) followed by analgesics-antipyretics (42.6%). It was found that only 12.5% completed an ongoing course of antibiotics. Consumption of ORS was commoner in diarrhoea than vomiting and only a few (13%) of the patients dissolved the ORS powder as directed. Only 9.7% of the subjects thought non-prescription medicine use is safe. Regarding the various types of medicine preparations used by them from the two types of pharmacy, a significant difference was noted only for eye drops (p = 0.003). This result might have been obtained due to prevailing ocular infections in the selected study population and underreporting at the Ophthalmology OPD of the nearest hospital. Conclusion: The current study has documented the extent of, factors associated with, and the pattern of non-prescription medicine use resulting in a surge of self-medication practice in urban area.

    Key words: Non-prescription medicine use, Self-medication, PPP model, Retail pharmacy, Survey.

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