Assessment of Antibiotic Dispensing Practice in Community Pharmacies of Tehran, for 2 Common Infectious Symptoms, Using Simulated Patient Method

Document Type : Research article


1 Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Sciences Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.

2 Department of clinical pharmacy, Virtual university of medical sciences,Tehran.Iran.

3 Department of Pharmacoeconomics and Pharmaceutical administration, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

4 Research Center for Rational Use of Drugs, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Faculty of Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

5 , Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Faculty of Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


Resistance to antibiotics is a worldwide concern and community pharmacies can play a strategic role in controlling this issue through rationalizing antibiotic consumption. Considering that dispensing any type of antibiotics without a prescription is prohibited in according to Iran’s regulations, this study was conducted to quantify the rate of antibiotic dispensing without a prescription by pharmacists in Tehran, Iran. A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted from September 2016 through May 2017. Two scenarios of common infectious symptoms including sore throat and dysuria were simulated by pharmacy student in three different regions of Tehran. Each scenario was performed in three levels of demand including requesting for any medicine, asking for a stronger medicine and direct request for an antibiotic. A total of 388 pharmacy visits were acceptable including 195 and 193 pharmacies for dysuria and sore throat, respectively. Antibiotics were provided in 39.9% of dysuria (67.5% in the first level of demand) and in 52.3% of sore throat (49% in the first level of demand) simulations. The time devoted by the pharmacists to each case was less than 60 second in more than 90% of the cases. The completion of the course of antibiotic therapy was emphasized by pharmacists in only 18% of cases in both scenarios. Our findings revealed that antibiotic dispensing without a prescription is a routine practice in community pharmacies in Tehran, Iran. Unfortunately, patient assessment and evaluation of the symptoms are not performed properly by pharmacists as well.

Graphical Abstract

Assessment of Antibiotic Dispensing Practice in Community Pharmacies of Tehran, for 2 Common Infectious Symptoms, Using Simulated Patient Method


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