Background: Prescription audit aids in evaluating the quality of medical treatment offered to the patients. It helps to discern any effective changes that would support health care professionals to proffer superior quality of care to the patients. Aim of the study is to carry out prescription audit in the outpatient pharmacy department of a tertiary care teaching hospital. Methods: A prospective observational study was conducted on 500 prescriptions for a span of four months in the outpatient pharmacy department of a tertiary care teaching hospital in South Karnataka, India. All the prescriptions were analyzed based on WHO prescribing indicators and were evaluated for errors in prescription writing. Data were entered and analyzed using into SPSS. Graphic representation has been used for visual interpretation of the analyzed data. Results: Five hundred scripts comprising of 1,661 drugs were analyzed. The average number of drugs per prescription was three. The study encompassed 52% males and 48% females. Most patients were from the age group of 41-60 years. Only 3.6% (18) of medications were prescribed by generic names. Patients received 9% (145) medications contained in Essential Drug List and prescriptions containing antibiotics were 19% (97). Majority of the prescriptions were from Orthopaedics (18.6%) tailed by General Medicine (15.8%). Consecutively Analgesics (12.7%) were the most commonly prescribed drug class, among which Diclofenac and Paracetamol+Tramadol were usually prescribed, this was tailed by gastrointestinal medicines (11.7%). Conclusion: Prescription audit can be helpful to plan appropriate intervention to ensure the rational drug therapy and to evaluate the existing drug use pattern. It also reflects the perspectives of current prescribing pattern in hospitals.
Key words: Prescription audit, WHO prescribing indicator, Essential drugs, Outpatient Pharmacy.