Home pharmacies in Serbia: an insight into self-medication practice
- 283 Downloads
Background Worldwide data indicate that self-medication is frequently used inappropriately. Although self-medication is encouraged in most of the countries by introducing over-the-counter drugs, it bears the risk of misuse of drugs issued on prescription due to low observance of legislation of medicines requiring prescription by some pharmacies. Objective The objective of this study was to explore the self-medication practice, with an emphasis on self-medication with prescription-only medications. Setting Households in Novi Sad city, Serbia. Method The study was conducted over 8 month period (December 2011–July 2012) and involved a random sample of households. The questionnaire-based study and personal insight into household drug supplies was performed by a trained interviewer. Main outcome measure Number of drugs obtained without prescription or without consulting a physician in surveyed households. Results The total number of drug items present in the 383 households was 4,384 with a median of 11 drugs per household. More than a half of drugs in households were prescription-only medication (58.5 %). Approximately one third of prescription-only medications were obtained without prescription. The most common drugs obtained without prescription were anti-inflammatory and antirheumatic products and antibacterials for systemic use. Ibuprofen and diclofenac were the most common self-medicated drugs. Number of prescription-only medications bought with ought prescription was significantly higher in households with children under 12 years of age compared to other types of households. Conclusion Our survey indicated that self-medication with prescription drugs appeared to be a rather common practice, which is far away from the concept of “responsible self-medication”, especially regarding antibiotics.
KeywordsHome pharmacies Prescription-only medications Self-medication Serbia
We would like to thank all study participants involved in this research for giving up their time to take part in the study.
This work was supported by the Ministry of Science and Technological development, Republic of Serbia, Project No. 41012.
Conflict of interest
The authors of this manuscript have no conflicts of interest to declare.
- 6.Medicines and Medical Devices Agency of Serbia (2012). Rules for medicinal products. http://www.alims.gov.rs/eng/files/2012/10/3-Rules-on-the-contents-and-method-of-labelling.pdf. Accessed 28 Oct 2014.
- 7.Medicines and Medical Devices Agency of Serbia (2012). The list of medicines in sale that do not require prescription. http://www.alims.gov.rs/ciril/files/2012/07/19_02_2010_lista.pdf. Accessed 28 Oct 2014.
- 9.WHO. The role of the pharmacist in the self-care and self-medication. Report of the 4th Consultative Group on the Role of the Pharmacist. The Hague, 1998.Google Scholar
- 13.Wyeth Consumer Healthcare (2002). NDAC meeting on risks of NSAIDS. Background package. http://www.fda.gov/ohrms/dockets/ac/02/briefing/3882b2_04_wyeth-ibuprophen.htm. Accessed 17 Nov 2014.
- 19.Vukmirovic S. Farmakoepidemiološki i farmakoterapijski aspekti upotrebe antibakterijskih lekova–usklađenost nacionalnih vodiča i lokalne rezistencije bakterija [Pharmacoepidemiological and pharmacotherapeutic aspects of antibacterial use—adherence to National guidelines and local resistance patterns] [dissertation]. Novi Sad (Serbia): Medical faculty of Novi Sad; 2013. Serbian.Google Scholar