Medicine Storage and Dispensing Facilities in Public Healthcare Pharmacies of Puducherry, India

Cureus. 2022 Jan 18;14(1):e21389. doi: 10.7759/cureus.21389. eCollection 2022 Jan.


Background Large amounts of medicines are wasted during procurement, storage, distribution, and utilization. Proper procurement, storage, dispensing, and documentation of medicines are important aspects of pharmacy management. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Indian Pharmaceutical Association (IPA) have developed guidelines for the storage and dispensing of medicines by pharmacists. This study was conducted to assess the storage and dispensing facilities of medicines in public healthcare pharmacies of Puducherry province in south India. Methodology A one-time survey was conducted in 10 public healthcare pharmacies by filling the checklist which was prepared based on the WHO and IPA guidelines. Results Facilities such as adequate surface area, storage area, reception area, and availability of water supply in dispensing area were available in 90% of surveyed pharmacies. The most common system used for the arrangement of medicines was alphabetical order (70%). In 80% of pharmacies, a sufficient number of shelves was available for storage of medicine, and in 90% of pharmacies, shelves were properly labeled. None of the pharmacies had separate storage facilities for expired medicines and narcotic drugs. Conclusions In Puducherry, pharmacy services are provided by qualified and experienced pharmacists. Although most of the surveyed pharmacies had all the required infrastructure and equipment facilities, few pharmacies need to improve their facilities to promote good drug-dispensing practices.

Keywords: good drug-dispensing practices; pharmacist; primary health care; storage; who.