Factors related with prescription requirement to dispense in Spain

Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2004 Jun;13(6):405-9. doi: 10.1002/pds.895.


Purpose: To identify factors associated with prescription requirement to dispense.

Methods: We carried out a cross-sectional study on a sample of 166 pharmacists in North-West Spain. The following independent variables were collected through a personal interview: pharmacist's education and speciality, characteristics of the pharmacy, and its socio-economic environment. We constructed multiple regression models using as dependent variables: requirement of prescription to dispense five drugs which have to be dispensed with a prescription; and opinion on whether a prescription should be required to dispense these drugs.

Results: The response rate was 98.8%. A proportion of 65.9% of pharmacists dispense antibiotics without any prescription. This proportion is 83.5% for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, 46.3% for ACE inhibitors, 13.4% for benzodiazepines and 84.8% for oral contraceptives. A higher requirement prescription was found to be associated with the antecedent of a speciality training of the pharmacist (p = 0.028) and his or her age (p < 0.001). A low prescription requirement is associated with the condition of being owner of the pharmacy (p = 0.032), with a high economic level of the population attended (p = 0.016) and with the size of the pharmacy (p = 0.045).

Conclusions: The proportion of pharmacists who dispense drugs without a prescription is extremely high. Our results suggest that in order to increase quality of dispensing, it is necessary to increase pharmacist education and direct efforts of awareness primarily at pharmacists in charge, who are young and work in large pharmacies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Clinical Competence
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Drug Prescriptions / standards*
  • Education, Pharmacy*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Licensure, Pharmacy*
  • National Health Programs
  • Pharmacies / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Pharmacies / standards
  • Pharmacists / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Pharmacists / psychology*
  • Pharmacists / standards
  • Professional Autonomy
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Spain