Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Pharmacists’ Knowledge Attitude and Practice Regarding the Dispensing of Antibiotics without Prescription in Tanzania: An Explorative Cross-Sectional Study

Version 1 : Received: 6 November 2019 / Approved: 7 November 2019 / Online: 7 November 2019 (15:03:56 CET)

How to cite: Poyongo, B.P.; Sangeda, R.Z. Pharmacists’ Knowledge Attitude and Practice Regarding the Dispensing of Antibiotics without Prescription in Tanzania: An Explorative Cross-Sectional Study. Preprints 2019, 2019110077 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201911.0077.v1). Poyongo, B.P.; Sangeda, R.Z. Pharmacists’ Knowledge Attitude and Practice Regarding the Dispensing of Antibiotics without Prescription in Tanzania: An Explorative Cross-Sectional Study. Preprints 2019, 2019110077 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201911.0077.v1).

Abstract

Background: Inappropriate use of antibiotics has been reported to contribute to the emergence and increase of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in the world. Antibiotics are prescription-only medicines to be dispensed to a person with a legal prescription inscribed by a qualified medical practitioner. Enforcing the dispensing of antibiotics with prescription is a way to promote the rational use of antibiotics and preventing the development and spread of AMR. It is, therefore, the responsibility of a pharmacist to dispense or supervise the dispensing of antibiotics in pharmacies and ensure its rational use. This study aimed to assess pharmacists’ knowledge, attitude and practice regarding the dispensing of antibiotics without prescription in Tanzania. Methods: An online semi-structured questionnaire was designed, tested and shared with licensed pharmacists in Tanzania through an invitation link sent in their official WhatsApp groups. A list of names, contacts and emails of licensed pharmacists obtained from the Pharmacy Council was used to directly contact and request pharmacist to fill the questionnaire, in case the pharmacist contact was not on WhatsApp, a text SMS invitation was sent. Study data were collected and managed using REDCap electronic data capture tools hosted at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Data were then downloaded and exported into Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20 for data analysis; Chi-square test was used to test association for categorical data, where a p-value of less than 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: More than 75% of pharmacists had excellent knowledge about the legal requirements for dispensing antibiotics and of the AMR challenge. Of the interviewed pharmacists, seventy-four percent admitted to dispensing antibiotics without prescription in their daily practice. The main reasons for administering antibiotics without prescription were the profitability nature of pharmacy business, a failure of the patient to get a prescription and lack of stringent regulatory authorities. Penicillins, macrolides and floroquinolones were the classes of antibiotics mostly dispensed without a prescription. Conclusion: The study shows that the dispensing of antibiotics without prescription is a common practice in Tanzania. The regulatory authorities should make regular inspections in pharmacies to detect this malpractice. The community should be trained on the importance of taking laboratory tests before getting medications for their sickness by a qualified medical practitioner.

Subject Areas

antibiotics; antibiotics resistance; antimicrobial resistance; dispensing; pharmacist; prescription; Tanzania

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