Dispensing antibiotics without prescription at the community pharmacies and accredited drug dispensing outlets in Tanzania: a cross-sectional study

Pendo M. Ndaki, Martha F. Mushi, Joseph R. Mwanga*, Eveline T. Konje, Nyanda E. Ntinginya, Blandina T. Mmbaga, Katherine Lisa Keenan, Wilber Sabiiti, Mike Kesby, Manuel Fernando Benitez Paez, Alison Fiona Sandeman, Matthew Holden, Stephen E. Mshana, HATUA Consortium

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Worldwide, antimicrobial resistance is increasing rapidly and is highly associated with misuse of antimicrobials. The HATUA study (a broader 3-country study) investigated the antibiotic dispensing practices of pharmaceutical providers to clients, particularly the propensity to dispense without prescription. A cross-sectional study using a ‘mystery client’ method was conducted in 1,148 community pharmacies and accredited drugs dispensing outlets (ADDO) in Mwanza (n = 612), Mbeya (n = 304) and Kilimanjaro (n = 232) in Tanzania. Mystery clients asked directly for amoxicillin, had no prescription to present, did not discuss symptoms unless asked [when asked reported UTI-like symptoms] and attempted to buy a half course. Dispensing of amoxicillin without prescription was common [88.2, 95%CI 86.3%–89.9%], across all three regions. Further-more, a majority of outlets sold a half course of amoxicillin without prescription: Mwanza (98%), Mbeya (99%) and Kilimanjaro (98%). Generally, most providers in all three regions dispensed amoxicillin on demand, without asking the client any questions with [Chi2 = 11.8851 and p-value = 0.003]. In Mbeya and Kilimanjaro, providers in ADDOs were more likely to do this than those in pharmacies but no difference was observed in Mwanza. While the Tanzanian government has laws, regulations and guidelines that prohibit antibiotic dispensing without prescription, our study suggests non-compliance by drug providers. Enforcement, surveillance, and the provision of continuing education on dispensing practices is recommended, particularly for ADDO providers.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1025
Number of pages16
JournalAntibiotics
Volume10
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Aug 2021

Keywords

  • Antibiotic
  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Dispensing practice
  • Prescription

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