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Community Pharmacy Personnel Understanding of Antibiotic Dispensing in Eastern Nepal

Authors Goswami N, Dahal P, Shrestha S, KC B, Mallik SK

Received 23 May 2020

Accepted for publication 10 August 2020

Published 10 September 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 1513—1522


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Marco Carotenuto

Nikita Goswami,1,* Prasanna Dahal,1,* Shakti Shrestha,2 Bhuvan KC,3 Shyam Kumar Mallik1

1Purbanchal University College of Medical and Allied Sciences, Purbanchal University, Sundar Haraicha, Gothgaun, Morang, Nepal; 2School of Pharmacy, Pharmacy Australia Center of Excellence, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4102, Australia; 3School of Pharmacy, Monash University Malaysia, Jalan Lagoon Selatan 47500, Bandar Sunway Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia

*These authors contributed equally to this work.

Correspondence: Prasanna Dahal
Purbanchal University College of Medical and Allied Sciences, Purbanchal University, Sundar Haraicha, Gothgaun, Morang 56611, Nepal
Tel +9779852049828

Background: Community pharmacies are easily accessible outlets providing medicines to the general public in Nepal, but it is known that irrational dispensing of antibiotics from such outlets contributes to antimicrobial resistance.
Objective: To assess the understanding of community pharmacy personnel around antibiotic-dispensing in Eastern Nepal and the relationship between this understanding and their personal characteristics.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted on 312 pharmacy personnel working in community pharmacies of three districts within Eastern Nepal using a self-administered questionnaire. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze participants’ characteristics and their understanding of antibiotic dispensing. The relationships between their understanding of antibiotic dispensing and their characteristics were determined using Chi-square tests.
Results: Most of the pharmacy personnel considered that dispensing antibiotics without a valid prescription is a problem (76.9%), and that it would not be legal to do so (86.9%). In the survey, 34.9% of participants agreed that they had dispensed antibiotics without prescription, and 26.9% disagreed with the assertion that inappropriate dispensing of antibiotics could promote antimicrobial resistance. Most (94.5%) reported that they would advise patients to follow their antibiotic dosage regimen, but 34.3% reported that they believed antibiotics to reduce pain and inflammation. Bivariate analysis showed that the level of understanding about antibiotic indication was significantly associated with age (p< 0.001), work experience (p< 0.001) and qualifications (p=0.017) of the pharmacy personnel. Work experience and qualifications also had significant but independent relationships with the level of understanding that irrational dispensing of antibiotics promotes antimicrobial resistance (p=0.018 and p=0.004) and is on the need for patient follow-up after dispensing antibiotics (p< 0.001 and p=0.042).
Conclusion: The understanding of community pharmacy personnel about antibiotic dispensing in Eastern Nepal requires significant improvement. Degree of understanding of some aspects of antibiotic dispensing was influenced by age, work experience and qualifications.

Keywords: antibiotic dispensing practice, antibiotic resistance, community pharmacy, irrational drug dispensing, pharmacist, pharmacy personnel

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