Introduction to concept of personal drugs, essential drug list and awareness of cost of drugs

Ravi Indla, Thangam Chinnathambi, Regina Roy, Alice Kuruvilla


Background: Undergraduate medical students acquire knowledge about use of drugs during teaching sessions related to prescription of drugs. Appropriate selection of drugs from the available list of numerous formulations requires skill. This can be imparted using the concept of personal drugs (P-drugs). Knowledge of the price of drugs is important consideration in selection of drug. This paper describes method of introducing medical student to the concept of P-drugs, essential drug list (ED list) and economic aspects of drug utilization.

Methods: Students are divided into groups, guided by faculty member. Each group is allotted a clinical case scenario with specific questions; students have to select suitable drugs which can be prescribed. They also have to search for the suitable drug included in the ED list and price of different brands of the same drug. The work done by the group is presented as a report to the whole class.

Results: Each group presented the list of P-drugs and ED list and price of the drugs for the selected cases viz.: pharyngitis, urinary tract infection, hypertension, diabetes mellitus. After collecting the information on these aspects each group selected the most appropriate drug for the clinical condition allotted to them. Comparison of prices of various brands provided opportunity to learn about economic aspects of drug use.

Conclusion: This method of study using patient oriented problems is a useful method to impart knowledge to medical students about concept of P-drugs, ED list and economic aspects of using drugs.


Selection of drugs, Personal drugs, Essential drug list, Cost of drugs

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