Using the potentials of community pharmacies to promote rational drug use in Pakistan: An opportunity exists or lost?

Azhar Hussain, Mohamed Izham Mohamed Ibrahim, Zaheer ud Din Baber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)


Keeping in view the importance of community pharmacies and their outreach to the patients, many developing countries have used their potential to promote safe and effective treatments by building their dispensing practices. This article discusses the importance of community pharmacies in the context of healthcare delivery system, and the potentials and opportunities which exist to promote the rational use of medicine in developing countries, especially Pakistan. A systematic inventory of published research work, was conducted for which the general search engine Google was utilised by using key terms 'community pharmacies,' 'dispensing practices,' 'drug sellers,' 'developing countries,' 'pharmacist,' 'Pakistan,' 'quality of pharmacies' and 'rational drug use' were employed. Internet databases, like Science Direct, Medline/Pub Med using available access, were used to find full-length articles. Private drug outlets have virtually turned into first-line source of prescribing and dispensing medications without any restrictions by the drug sellers. Innovative approaches are needed to achieve better services from these community pharmacies without significantly increasing costs to the society and healthcare system. The opportunity exists, but needs to be utlised accordingly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1217-1222
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the Pakistan Medical Association
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2012
Externally publishedYes


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