Objectives: The study aimed to evaluate the dispensing pattern and practices of community pharmacies towards antituberculosis drugs. Materials and Methods: A cross sectional, prospective study was conducted at Belagavi, Karnataka, India based on survey of pharmaceutical outlets in the locality. A structured interview form was used to assess availability and non-availability of Anti-TB drugs, dispensing Anti-TB drugs, Community pharmacist dispensing pattern of Anti-TB drugs in weekly and monthly basis. Results: A total of 228 community pharmacists participated in the Survey. Of these, 204 community pharmacists (90.35%) were male and 22 community pharmacists (9.65%) were female. The majority of 198 community pharmacists (86.84%) Diploma in Pharmacy (D. Pharm). 86 community pharmacies (37.72%) were dispensing Anti-TB drugs. The majority (37.04%) of the community pharmacies were expecting to dispense Anti-TB drugs for 2 to 3 tuberculosis patients monthly. Community pharmacies located near Government civil hospital, 108 to 137 tuberculosis patients seeking Anti-TB drugs monthly. 53 community pharmacies (61.62%) dispensing Anti-TB drugs through Private Physicians prescriptions. Conclusion: Tuberculosis patients are neglecting where Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP) facility for free treatment are available. Violation of the guidelines and regulations of dispensing Anti-TB potentially contribute to emergence of drug- resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The community pharmacist should be encouraged to participate Directly observed treatment, short course (DOTS) program through RNTCP training.
Key words: Community Pharmacies, RNTCP, DOTS, Tuberculosis, Anti-TB drugs.