Evaluation of drug use practices at primary healthcare centers of Kuwait

Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2010 Dec;66(12):1247-55. doi: 10.1007/s00228-010-0872-8. Epub 2010 Jul 29.


Purpose: The aim of this study was to investigate current prescribing and dispensing practices at primary healthcare centers in Kuwait and compare them with those reported in other countries.

Methods: This was a descriptive, quantitative and cross-sectional study involving 50 primary healthcare centers across five governorates of Kuwait. The sample was determined in accordance with the recommendations of the World Health Organization on methodology. Healthcare centers were stratified according to governorates and selected by systematic random sampling. Prescribing indicators were investigated in each healthcare center by collecting data on 100 prescriptions for all age groups, determining consultation time and dispensing time for 50 patients, and interviewing 30 patients for an evaluation of dispensing practices. Data were collected prospectively using systematic random sampling.

Results: Our findings showed that the mean (standard deviation) number of drugs prescribed per prescription was 2.9 (1.2), 17.7% [95% confidence interval (CI) 17.1-18.4%] of drugs were prescribed by generic name, 39.1% (95% CI 37.8-40.5%) of prescriptions involved an antibiotic, and 9.1% (95% CI 8.9-9.4%) of prescriptions were for an injection. The mean (SD) consultation and dispensing times were 2.8 (1.9) min and 54.6 (33.5) s, respectively. Of the drugs prescribed, 97.9% (95% CI 97.4-98.3%) were actually dispensed, and 66.9% (95% CI 65.5-68.3%) were adequately labeled. In total, 26.9% (95% CI 24.7-29.2%) of patients demonstrated adequate knowledge of all drugs dispensed for them.

Conclusions: Our findings indicate problem areas in prescribing and dispensing practices at the healthcare centers in Kuwait. Cost-effective, multifaceted interventions to improve current prescribing and dispensing practices are needed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Ambulatory Care Facilities / organization & administration*
  • Drug Utilization Review*
  • Kuwait
  • Primary Health Care*
  • Prospective Studies