Country Pharmaceutical Situation on Access, Quality, and Rational Use of Medicines: An Evidence from a middle-income country

Document Type: Research article

Authors

1 Department. of Pharmacoeconomics and Pharma Management, School of Pharmacy, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

2 Department of Pharmacoeconomics and Pharma Management, School of Pharmacy, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

3 Health Policy Research Center, Institute of Health, Shiraz University of Medical Science, Shiraz, IR Iran.

4 Department of Pharmacoeconomics and Pharma management, School of Pharmacy, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Abstract

Introduction: Evaluation of pharmaceutical systems performance is an essential prerequisite for promoting evidence-based policy-making, improvement in health system performance. This study attempts to evaluate the performance of Iran pharmaceutical system based on the world health organization (WHO)'s indicators, including access, quality, and rational use of medicines.
Methods: In this cross-sectional descriptive study, inspired by the instructions proposed by WHO, public and private pharmaceutical service-providers were evaluated in three dimensions and 16 indicators. Accordingly, eleven separate checklists were developed and, in terms of translation, face and content validity were certified by pharmaceutical sector’s experts. Sampling was randomly carried out in five cities. Depending on the type of indicators, retrospective or prospective approaches was determined for data collection. The data were collected from April to November 2018 and analyzed by SPSS 24.
Results: The availability of targeted key medicines in various cities as well as in public and private pharmacies was 97.5% with no significant difference. Although the medicines cost was higher in private sectors than in public ones, they were affordable in both sectors. In quality indicators, public sectors enjoyed a higher level than the private sectors did. The average number of medicines per prescription in public pharmacies was 3.2 and it was 3.4 in private ones. On average, in public sectors 33% and 32% of outpatients received antibiotics and injectable medicines, respectively. Finally, 77% of medicines were prescribed by using their generic names and 25% of prescriptions were in accordance with key medicines list.

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