A comparative study of prescribing patterns in two tertiary care teaching hospitals in Lagos, Nigeria
Worldwide, it is estimated that over half of all medicines are prescribed, dispensed or sold inappropriately, and that half of all patients fail to take their medicine correctly. Measuring drug use is a requirement for improving drug use either at the individual facility or national level. Much work has been done by World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Network on Rational Use of Drugs (INRUD) in providing tools for such measurements. The main objective of this work was to document and compare prescribing patterns in two teaching hospitals in Lagos State using WHO/INRUD developed indicators. The survey was conducted in the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) and the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH). Prescriptions were sampled in both facilities and data required to document prescribing patterns collected. A total of 933 prescriptions were surveyed. Results obtained revealed that in the two facilities the average drugs used per encounter was 3.55, generic prescribing was less than 50% and encounters with antibiotics are high. On analysis, statistically significant differences existed on average number of drugs prescribed, use of generic nomenclature, percentage antibiotic use and percentage injection use in the two facilities. Long-term, intensive interventions should be carried out to ensure rational use of drugs in these facilities that are centers of excellence in medical and pharmaceutical care.