Objective: To quantify antibiotics sales without a prescription and to explore provision of patient assessment and medicine information related to antibiotics requested with or without a prescription in Surabaya community pharmacies.
Methods: Scenarios of specific product requests (ciprofloxacin tablets and tetracycline capsules) and a request of amoxicillin dry syrups based on a new prescription were presented by simulated patients to 105 purposively selected pharmacies. Data were recorded by simulated patients after their purchase of each product. They documented the questions asked in patient assessment, the content of information given, recommendations provided and pharmacy workers' characteristics.
Results: Antibiotics requested without a prescription were sold in 80 (91%) pharmacies. Information related to ciprofloxacin tablets and tetracycline capsules was only provided when requested by the simulated patient in 69% and 68% of pharmacies for the two scenarios, respectively. Very few pharmacies assessed patients. Medicine information on indication, dosing, duration and direction for use was provided more frequently in all cases. Medicine information was more likely to be given when a new prescription of amoxicillin dry syrups being presented. Overall, the majority of sampled pharmacies responded antibiotics requests inappropriately.
Conclusion: Inappropriate responses to antibiotic requests with or without a prescription remain an issue in Indonesia with pharmacy workers often failing to adequately assess patients. The illegality of delivering antibiotics without a prescription is of a considerable concern. Therefore, strategies to control antibiotics dispensing in community pharmacies should be seriously considered.
© 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.