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and the knowledge of medical practitioners about the national essential
medicines list of Pakistan.
Methodology: This paper describes two phases of a study focused on national
essential medicines list of Pakistan. Conducted at Kuwait Teaching Hospital, Peshawar between February and March 2013, in the first phase, using purposive
sampling, digital photographs of 110 prescriptions were taken and 94 legible
prescriptions were analyzed. In the second phase, in March 2014, questionnaire
based semi structured interviews were conducted from 35 medical practitioners.
Results: A total of 62(65.9%) prescriptions had medicines from the national
essential medicines list of Pakistan. Out of 279 medicines prescribed in these
prescriptions, 231 (82.8%) were from that list. 23 medical practitioners were
aware of the existence of national essential medicines list of Pakistan. Medical
practitioners reported that safety (n=20, 57.1%), efficacy (n=19, 54.3%), relevance; and cost of medicines both (n=17, 48.6%) & availability (n=10, 28.6%)
were the factors that influence their selection of the prescribed medicines. They
informed that the undergraduate course curriculum (n=22, 62.8%), specialty
training (n=10, 28.6%) and the literature produced by the pharmaceutical industries (n=2, 8.6%) were the knowledge sources for prescribing a medication.
Conclusion: Almost one third of the prescriptions did not contain essential
medicines. and only one forth of medical practitioners were aware of the existence
of national essential medicines list.
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