Rational Prescription of Drug in Iran: Statistics and Trends for Policymakers

Peivand Bastani, Eshagh Barfar, Aziz Rezapour, Seyyed Mostafa Hakimzadeh, Ali Tahernejad, Sirous Panahi


Background: Medicine is considered as strategic goods worldwide and, therefore, a huge
amount of health care budget is spent on it. To prepare universal access to appropriate health services and achieve the health-related millennium development goals, rational use of drugs is an essential goal in the health system. This study aimed to investigate the proportion of drug prescription in three categories of injections, antibacterials agents and corticosteroids in a 10 year period.
Methods: This is a descriptive study using data from an Iranian national insurance
organization and National Center of Drug Use. The data about prescribed drugs during 2003
to 2013 were collected and analyzed by Excel Microsoft software, version 2010.
Result: Results indicated that injections were decreased from 49.25% in 2003 to 46% in 2013;also, antimicrobials had a decrease from 64.25% in 2003 to 42.2% in 2013. Totally, it was reduced about 16% in the period of 10 years. Corticosteroids increased 10 % from 13% to 23% in 2013.
Conclusion: According the present findings that indicate irrational and increasing use of
corticosteroids and antimicrobials, it seems necessary for Iranian policy makers to pay specific attention to customizing clinical and pharmaceutical guidelines along with improvement of medical education system and rational prescription, holding scientific committees of prescription supervision, arranging continuous and effective education of health personnel, and improving public culture and community education.
Keywords: Injections, Antimicrobials, Rational prescribing

Full Text:



Akl OA, El Mahalli AA, Elkahky AA, Salem AM.

WHO/INRUD drug use indicators at primary

healthcare centers in Alexandria, Egypt. Journal of

Taibah University Medical Sciences. 2014;9(1):54-

doi: 10.1016/j.jtumed.2013.06.002

Bachhav SS, Kshirsagar NA. Systematic review

of drug utilization studies & the use of the

drug classification system in the WHO-SEARO

Region. Indian J Med Res. 2015;142(2):120-9. doi:


Mao W, Vu H, Xie Z, Chen W, Tang S. Systematic

review on irrational use of medicines in China

and Vietnam. PLoS One. 2015;10(3):e0117710.

doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0117710

Soleymani F, Ahmadizar F, Meysamie A,

Abdollahi M. A survey on the factors influencing

the pattern of medicine’s use: Concerns on

irrational use of drugs. Journal of research

in pharmacy practice. 2013;2(2):59-63. doi:


Kumar S. A study on drug use pattern using

who prescribing indicators in in-patients of

medicine department in a rural tertiary care

teaching hospital. Indo American Journal of Pham

Research. 2015;5(05):2041-6.

Zhang X, Wang L, Zhang X. Application of

propensity scores to explore the effect of public

reporting of medicine use information on

rational drug use in China: a quasi-experimental

design. BMC Health Serv Res. 2014;14:492. doi:


Rong F. Configuration Center irrational drug use

intravenous drugs analysis. Inner Mongolia Journal

of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 2013;22:103.

Uzochukwu BS, Onwujekwe OE, Okwuosa C, Ibe

OP. Patent medicine dealers and irrational use of

medicines in children: the economic cost and

implications for reducing childhood mortality

in southeast Nigeria. PLoS One. 2014;9(3):e91667.

doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0091667

Bastani P, Mehralian G, Dinarvand R. Resource

allocation and purchasing arrangements to

improve accessibility of medicines: Evidence

from Iran. J Res Pharm Pract. 2015;4(1):9-17. doi:


Teymourzadeh E, Rashidian A, Arab M, Akbari-

Sari A, Hakimzadeh SM. Nurses exposure to

workplace violence in a large teaching hospital in

Iran. Int J Health Policy Manag. 2014;3(6):301-5.

doi: 10.15171/ijhpm.2014.98

Bahadori M, Babashahy S, Teymourzadeh E,

Hakimzadeh SM. Activity based costing in

health care center: A case study of Iran. African

Journal of Business Management. 2012;6(6):2181.

doi: 10.5897/ajbm11.2668

Wondimu A, Molla F, Abrha S, Mohammed J,

Demeke B, Eticha T, et al. Drug Use during Acute

Illness in Tigray Region, Northern Ethiopia: A

Household Study. PLoS One. 2015;10(12):e0145007.

doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0145007

Banerjee I, Bhadury T, Sengupta T, Roy D. Drug

Utilization Study in Ophthalmology Out-patient

Department of a Medical College in India.

Ann Med Health Sci Res. 2014;4(4):667-70. doi:


Soleymani F, Haerizadeh M, Farshchi A.

Economic burden of irrational use of injectable

form of Dexamethasone: a warning to health

system. Journal of Pharmacoeconomics and

Pharmaceutical Management. 2015;1(3/4):56-8.

Desalegn AA. Assessment of drug use pattern

using WHO prescribing indicators at Hawassa

University Teaching and Referral Hospital, south

Ethiopia: a cross-sectional study. BMC Health Serv

Res. 2013;13:170. doi: 10.1186/1472-6963-13-170

Mosleh A. Drug prescription based on WHO

indicators&58; Tehran university of medical

sciences facilities with pharmacy. Tehran University

Medical Journal. 2007;65(A00101s1):12-5.

Sepehri G, Talebizadeh N, Mirzazadeh A, Mirshekari

T-R, Sepehri E. Bacterial contamination

and resistance to commonly used antimicrobials

of healthcare workers’ mobile phones in

teaching hospitals, Kerman, Iran. Am J Appl Sci.

;6(5):806-10. doi: 10.3844/ajassp.2009.806.810

Zare N, Razm jM, Ghaemi nM, Zeyghami B,

Agha MZ. Effectiveness of the feedback and

recalling education on quality of prescription by

general practitioners in Shiraz. Zahedan Journal

of Research in Medical Sciences (Tabib-E-Shargh).


Bashrahil K. Indicators of rational drug use and

health services in Hadramout, Yemen/Indicateurs

d’usage rationnel des medicaments et des services

de sante dans le gouvernorat d’Hadramout

(Yemen). East Mediterr Health J. 2010;16(2):151.

Mankadavath A, Chandrasekhar D, Thomas T,

Zuhra F, Kaipanthodi S, Parambil JC. A prospective

drug use evaluation of antihypertensive drugs in

in-patients of a tertiary referral care hospital. J

Basic Clin Physiol Pharmacol. 2015;26(3):295-

doi: 10.1515/jbcpp-2013-0131

Shah A, Jan SU. Irrational Drug Use Pattern In

Hospitals. A Warning for Health Care System.

Value Health. 2015;18(7):A566. doi: 10.1016/j.


Bao L, Wang Y, Shang T, Ren X, Ma R. A novel

clinical pharmacy management system in

improving the rational drug use in department of

general surgery. Indian J Pharm Sci. 2013;75(1):11-

doi: 10.4103/0250-474X.113531

Sharif S, Al-Shaqra M, Hajjar H, Shamout A,

Wess L. Patterns of drug prescribing in a hospital

in dubai, United arab emirates. Libyan J Med.

;3(1):10-2. doi: 10.4176/070928

Tan E, Akıncı A, Ayvaz G, Erbaş T, Ertaş M, Güç

O, et al. Irrational drug use in neuropathic pain

treatment: a twoyear data analysis. International

Journal of Medicine and Biomedical Research.

;2(3):202-6. doi: 10.14194/ijmbr.237

Lukali V, Michelo C. Factors associated with

irrational drug use at a district hospital in

Zambia: patient record-based observations. Med

J Zambia. 2015;42(1):25-30.

Farrugia A. Assembling the dominant accounts

of youth drug use in Australian harm reduction

drug education. Int J Drug Policy. 2014;25(4):663-

doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2014.04.019

Gadde L-E, Håkansson H. The changing role of

purchasing: reconsidering three strategic issues.

European Journal of Purchasing & Supply Management.

;1(1):27-35. doi: 10.1016/0969-7012(94)90040-x

Mohagheghi MA, Mosavi-Jarrahi A, Khatemi-

Moghaddam M, Afhami S, Khodai S, Azemoodeh

O. Community-based outpatient practice of

antibiotics use in Tehran. Pharmacoepidemiol

Drug Saf. 2005;14(2):135-8. doi: 10.1002/pds.1057

Hakimzadeh SM, Shokouh H, Morteza S, Bahadori

M, Tahernezhad K. Research Needs Assessment

and Priority Setting for Health Economics: A

Mixed method Study in Iran. Journal Mil Med.


Tavana AM, Hatamlo H, Teymourzadeh E,

Ebrahimnia M, Tofighi S, Bahadori M, et al.

Determining research priorities based on four

main areas: Stewardship, Creating resources,

Financing and Delivering services in health

care system in Iran. Journal of Health Policy and

Sustainable Health. 2015;2(1).


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

pISSN: 2322-1097        eISSN: 2423-5857