Purpose: Prevention of irrational drug use may reduce healthcare costs and potentially save lives. In line with the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation, retrospective, prospective and cross sectional descriptive studies were conducted to obtain information on patient care, prescribing, and facility indicators in the Outpatient Department of General Hospital, Offa, Kwara State, Nigeria. Methodology: A sample of 1,416 prescriptions was randomly selected to determine the prescribing indicators. A total of 472 patients were interviewed to collect information on the drugs being used by the patients. Information on health facility indicators were obtained by assessing sufficient supply of vital drugs, and access to information about these drugs in the hospital. Findings: Majority of the patients were females with mean age of 56.2 ± 7.1 years. The average number of drugs per prescription (2.6) was higher than WHO recommendation (1.6-1.8), and most (58.1%) of the drugs prescribed were branded rather than 100% generics. Percentages of antibiotics (23.8%) and injectable drugs (3.4%) prescribed were within WHO cut-off values of 20.0-26.8% and <10.0%, respectively. The Nigerian Essential Drugs List was available in the facility, and a high percentage (99.7%) of drugs was prescribed from the list. The average time used in dispensing drugs (5.26 ± 2.33 minutes) was also adequate and within WHO recommendation (>3 minutes). Appropriate drugs dispensed and adequate labeling were 87.4% and 81.9%, respectively. Hypertension (28.8%) was the most prevalent disease in the community. Conclusion: The study concluded that most of the prescribing indicators did not meet WHO standard criteria. Social Value: The health facility and patient care indicators are rational. Data obtained in this study can be used to monitor and improve drug prescribing habits of physicians in this facility.
Key words: Irrational drug, Indicators, Antibiotics, World Health Organization.
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