Published: 2017-11-23

Assessment of drug use practices among dermatology out-patients using WHO core drug use indicators

Shatavisa Mukherjee, Nikhil Era, Gautam Banerjee, Santanu Kumar Tripathi


Background: Considering the economic burden the skin diseases cause owing to its high prevalence, it is of interest to periodically monitor the drug use pattern so as to increase the therapeutic efficacy, decrease adverse effects and provide feedback to prescribers. The present study thus assessed the drug use practices among dermatology outpatients in a tertiary care teaching unit in Eastern India.

Methods: The study assessed drug use practices for all prescriptions of patients attending the concerned OPD using WHO core drug use indicators which consist of mainly three domains, prescribing indicators, patient care indicators and healthcare indicators.

Results: Total number of drugs in 471 prescriptions was found to be 1050. Number of drugs per prescription varied from 1 to 6 with average of 2.22. The most commonly prescribed drugs were antibiotics, followed by steroids and steroidal combinations. Prescribing indicators revealed that 2.09% drugs were generic prescribing, with about 18.78% of the drugs being prescribed from the WHO essential drug list. The proportion of encounters with at least one antibiotic prescribed was 34.82%. 13.9% drugs actually dispensed from hospital supply, of which all were adequately labelled.

Conclusions: Increasing dermatological prescribing has necessitated assessment of their rational usage. Promoting rational drug use policy is recommended for effective healthcare management.


Drug use practices, Essential drug list, Rational prescribing, WHO core drug use indicators

Full Text:



Nerurkar RP, Kokane MR, Mehta MN. Study of prescribing pattern of topical corticosteroids in dermatology out patients department in a tertiary care hospital in India. Int J Basic Clin Pharmacol. 2016;5:2194-8.

Patel NG, Patel NJ. Epidemiological Study of Skin (Dermatological) Diseases and its treatment in North Gujarat. Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical and Clinical Research. 2010;3(4):40-2.

Mukherjee S. Assessment of corticosteroid utilization pattern among dermatology outpatients in a tertiary care teaching hospital in Eastern India. International Journal of Green Pharmacy. 2016;10(4):178-82.

Lenjisa JL, Fereja TH. A Retrospective Analysis of Prescribing Practice Based on WHO Prescribing Indicators at Four Selected Hospitals of West Ethiopia: Policy Implication. East and Central African Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. 2013;16:69-74.

World Health Organization. Fact sheet: Drug use evaluation (DUE) (drug utilization review); 2017. Available at: Accessed Jan 31, 2017.

National List of Essential Medicines. 2015. Available at: Accessed January 22, 2017.

World Health Organization. Fact sheet: WHO core drug use indicators. 2017. Available at Accessed Jan 22, 2017.

Aravamuthan A, Arputhavanan M, Subramaniam K. Assessment of current prescribing practices using World Health Organization core drug use and complementary indicators in selected rural community pharmacies in Southern India. J of Pharmaceutical Policy and Practice. 2016;10(1):1.

Dutta A, Chakraborty S. Practice of rational drug uses in a rural area of 24 pgs(s) in West Bengal. Journal of Advanced Pharmaceutical Technology & Research. 2010;1(3):358-64.