Knowledge and attitude of physicians towards the cost of commonly prescribed medicines : a case study in three Nigerian tertiary healthcare facilities

Fadare, Joseph O. and Enwere, Okezie O. and Adeoti, Adekunle O. and Desalu, Olufemi O. and Godman, Brian (2020) Knowledge and attitude of physicians towards the cost of commonly prescribed medicines : a case study in three Nigerian tertiary healthcare facilities. Value in Health Regional Issues, 22. pp. 68-74. ISSN 2212-1099

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    Abstract

    Background: One of the core principles of rational prescribing is consideration of the cost of the medicines prescribed especially in countries with high patient co-payments and low incomes such as Nigeria. Little is known about Nigerian physicians’ knowledge about the cost of commonly prescribed medicines. Objective: The principal objective of the study was to assess the knowledge of Nigerian physicians about the cost of commonly prescribed medicines. Methods: Descriptive cross-sectional survey conducted among physicians in three tertiary institutions in Nigeria. Apart from socio-demographic and other information, questions about the estimated costs of branded and generic versions of 11 commonly prescribed medications were included in the questionnaire. Results: One hundred and seventy-nine (179; 95.7%) respondents agreed that costs of medicines were important when writing prescriptions even though only 7 (3.7%) of them had any formal training in the economics of healthcare. The median percentages of respondents with accurate estimated costs for generic and originator brands were 6.2% and 12% respectively. Respondents were more knowledgeable about the cost of medicines used for the treatment of infectious diseases (malaria, bacterial infections) than non-communicable diseases (diabetes mellitus, hypertension and dyslipidemia). Conclusions: The knowledge of Nigerian physicians in the three participating hospitals about the costs of commonly prescribed medicines was poor. This is despite their awareness about the importance of costs of medicines when prescribing.