Antibiotic consumption at community pharmacies : a multicenter repeated prevalence surveillance using WHO methodology

Saleem, Zikria and Faller, Erwin Martinez and Godman, Brian and Malik, Muhammad Sajeel Ahmed and Iftikhar, Aqsa and Iqbal, Sonia and Akbar, Aroosa and Hashim, Mahnoor and Amin, Aneeqa and Javeed, Sidra and Amir, Afreenish and Zafar, Alia and Sabih, Farah and Hashmi, Furqan Khurshid and Hassali, Mohamed Azmi (2022) Antibiotic consumption at community pharmacies : a multicenter repeated prevalence surveillance using WHO methodology. Medicine Access @ Point of Care, 5. pp. 1-22. ISSN 2399-2026 (

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Background: Antibiotics are losing their effectiveness because of the rapid emergence of resistant bacteria. Unnecessary antimicrobial use increases antimicrobial resistance (AMR). There are currently no published data on antibiotic consumption in Pakistan at the community level. This is a concern given high levels of self-purchasing of antibiotics in Pakistan and variable knowledge regarding antibiotics and AMR among physicians and pharmacists. Objective: The objective of this repeated prevalence survey was to assess the pattern of antibiotic consumption data among different community pharmacies to provide a baseline for developing future pertinent initiatives. Methods: A multicenter repeated prevalence survey conducted among community pharmacies in Lahore, a metropolitan city with a population of approximately 10 million people, from October to December 2017 using the World Health Organization (WHO) methodology for a global program on surveillance of antimicrobial consumption. Results: The total number of defined daily doses (DDDs) dispensed per patient ranged from 0.1 to 50.0. In most cases, two DDDs per patient were dispensed from pharmacies. Co-amoxiclav was the most commonly dispensed antibiotic with a total number of DDDs at 1018.15. Co-amoxiclav was followed by ciprofloxacin with a total number of 486.6 DDDs and azithromycin with a total number of 472.66 DDDs. The least consumed antibiotics were cefadroxil, cefotaxime, amikacin, and ofloxacin, with overall consumption highest in December. Conclusion: The study indicated high antibiotic usage among community pharmacies in Lahore, Pakistan particularly broad-spectrum antibiotics, which were mostly dispensed inappropriately. The National action plan of Pakistan on AMR should be implemented by policymakers including restrictions on the dispensing of antimicrobials.