Joshua Coker, Mohamed Bawoh, Michael Lahai, Onome Abiri, Theresa Mambu, DR Lisk
Abstract: Introduction: Errors relating to prescription writing are not uncommon and studies have demonstrated that rational prescribing will reduce both the cost and accessibility of drugs. Aims: The aim of this study is to assess adherence to WHO prescription writing guidelines in a tertiary teaching hospital in Sierra Leone. The results of this study will be used to create a sense of awareness regarding appropriate prescription writing guidelines. Materials and Methods: The study was a retrospective review of 500 prescriptions received at the hospital pharmacy of Connaught Hospital, Freetown over a 5 month period. All prescriptions were screened against the World Health Organization (WHO) prescription writing guidelines. Results: This study demonstrated that in more than 95 % of prescriptions, the name, age and sex of the patients were written as well as prescriber’s signature. In 74.2 % of prescriptions, the drugs were prescribed as generic; In 91.2 % and 89.2 % of prescriptions the strength and dose of the drugs were prescribed respectively. In 59 % of prescriptions, the diagnoses of the patients were not included; 52.8 % did not have the duration of the medication included in the prescription. This study also shows that 13 % of prescriptions showed no evidence of polypharmacy. Conclusions: The study revealed non-adherence to WHO optimal standard for average number of drugs prescribed per patient and for generic prescribing.
Keywords: standard prescription writing guidelines in a tertiary hospital in Sierra Leone