Private pharmacies in tuberculosis control--a neglected link

Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2002 Feb;6(2):171-3.


In most settings in India, private pharmacies dispense prescriptions for anti-tuberculosis drugs made out by private practitioners. In a cross-sectional study, we assessed the dispensing practices for tuberculosis and knowledge about the national tuberculosis programme of 300 pharmacies. In all, 2800 prescriptions were dispensed monthly by the pharmacies. Doctors' prescriptions were for durations of several months, but half of the patients bought drugs one dose at a time for self-administration. This practice might promote drug resistance. Although 95% of pharmacists were not aware of the existence of the tuberculosis programme, the majority (97%) were willing to learn and contribute towards tuberculosis control. The need and the potential of private pharmacies for participation in tuberculosis control are highlighted.

MeSH terms

  • Antitubercular Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Drug Prescriptions
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • India
  • Male
  • National Health Programs / organization & administration
  • Pharmacies / standards*
  • Pharmacies / trends
  • Primary Prevention / organization & administration
  • Private Sector*
  • Professional Competence
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / drug therapy*
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / prevention & control*


  • Antitubercular Agents