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Physician adherence to hypertension treatment guidelines and drug acquisition costs of antihypertensive drugs at the cardiac clinic: a pilot study

Authors Abdulameer S, Sahib M, Abd Aziz, Hassan, Abdul Alrazzaq, Ismail

Received 10 October 2011

Accepted for publication 9 December 2011

Published 31 January 2012 Volume 2012:6 Pages 101—108


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Shaymaa Abdalwahed Abdulameer1, Mohanad Naji Sahib1, Noorizan Abd Aziz1,2, Yahaya Hassan1,2, Hadeer Akram Abdul AlRazzaq1, Omar Ismail3
1School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 Minden, Penang, Malaysia; 2Faculty of Pharmacy, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), 42300 Puncak Alam, Selangor, Malaysia; 3Hospital Pulau Pinang, 10900, Penang, Malaysia

Abstract: Prescribing pattern surveys are one of the pharmacoepidemiological techniques that provide an unbiased picture of prescribing habits. Prescription surveys permit the identification of suboptimal prescribing patterns for further evaluation. The aims of this study were to determine the prescribing trend, adherence of the prescribers to the guideline, and the impact of drug expenditure on drug utilization at the cardiac clinic of Penang Hospital, Malaysia. This was a cross-sectional study. Demographic data of the patients, diagnoses and the drugs prescribed were recorded. The average drug acquisition costs (ADAC) were calculated for each antihypertensive drug class on a daily and annual basis. Adherence to the guideline was calculated as a percentage of the total number of patients. A total of 313 individuals fulfilled the inclusion criteria. The average age of the study population was 59.30 ± 10.35 years. The mean number of drugs per prescription in the study was 2.09 ± 0.78. There were no significant differences in the demographic data. Antihypertensive drugs were used in monotherapy and polytherapy in 20.8% and 79.2% of the patients, respectively. Adherence to the guideline regarding prescription occurred in 85.30% of the patients. The lowest priced drug class was diuretics and the highest was angiotensin-receptor blockers. In conclusion, the total adherence to the guideline was good; the adherence percentage only slightly decreased with a co-existing comorbidity (such as diabetes mellitus). The use of thiazide diuretics was encouraged because they are well tolerated and inexpensive, and perindopril was still prescribed for diabetic patients since it is relatively cheap (generic drug) and its daily dosage is beneficial.

Keywords: prescribing pattern, adherence, antihypertensive, drug expenditure

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