Abu-Bakr Yagoub Ibrahim Mohammed
Objectives: To assess the knowledge and attitude of community pharmacists and their adherence to OTC guidelines.
Methods: Descriptive cross-sectional non-interventional community-based study, conducted in Jabra locality, a locality that includes two cities, Jabra and Alsahafa. According to the Khartoum state Directorate of Pharmacy report, there are 80 pharmacies distributed throughout the area. This study had total coverage of the area (n=80). The data were collected using a closed-ended self-administered questionnaire for pharmacists; the questions were designed to indicate their knowledge about dispensing OTC drugs. Eighty community pharmacists were visited and questionnaires were collected. All questions were coded and then imported for SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) Version (20) for Windows in order to perform a proper analysis.
Results: The research was aimed at assessing the knowledge of over-the-counter drugs dispensing at pharmacies. There were more female than male pharmacists, 59% and 41% respectively. The majority of respondent community pharmacists range in age between 21-30 years (79%). Only 20% of respondent community pharmacists were found to have post-graduate degrees. Pharmacists with 1-5 years of experience represent 54% of the studied population, with less than a third (23%) having less than 1 year’s experience. Of the total number of community pharmacists, 32.5% are aware of the OTC list. In relation to the age groups, 27.5% of the younger age group has knowledge about the availability of the list. Regarding qualifications, 52.5% of pharmacists holding bachelor degrees did not know the availability of the OTC list. However, this group had the best knowledge regarding the availability list compared with those holding other qualifications (27.5%). Regarding their knowledge in dispensing without prescription, 79% and 81% of community pharmacists dispensed prescription only drugs without prescription (Hyosine and Profen respectively). At the same time, 85% dispensed Amyilin DM, although it is a category P OTC drug. The classification of pharmacists according to their knowledge regarding dispensing over-the-counter drugs as Poor/less acceptable/acceptable are 11.3%, 23.8% and 65.0% respectively showing an acceptable percentage.
Conclusions: the knowledge of community pharmacists was acceptable.
Keywords: Over-the-Counter Drugs, FIP – The International Pharmaceutical Federation, CD-POM – Controlled Drugs-Prescription Only Medicines, POM – Prescription Only Medicines