To estimate the proportion of pharmacies meeting licensing requirements and
to identify factors associated with these pharmacies in urban Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
Cross-sectional questionnaire survey conducted during July–September 2001, of
311 pharmacies selected from a drug company list of 506.
Free-standing licensed and unlicensed pharmacies in urban Rawalpindi.
A pharmacist or (if unavailable) the most experienced drug seller.
The proportion of pharmacies meeting licensing requirements was 19.3% [95% C.I
(confidence interval): 15.1, 24.2], with few qualified persons (22%). Only 10% had a temperature-monitoring device
and 4% an alternative power supply for refrigerators (present in 76% of pharmacies). Associated with pharmacies meeting
licensing requirements was the knowledge of not giving co-trimoxazole, a prescription drug, without prescription [OR
(odds ratio) = 2.0; 95% CI: 1.1, 3.6], knowledge of the temperature range for vaccines (OR = 2.6; 95% CI: 1.4, 4.8), availability of
vaccines (OR = 2.8; 95% CI: 2.8, 18.4), and alternative power supply for the refrigerator (OR = 6.0; 95% CI: 1.5, 23.7). The
practice of selling drugs without prescription was not found to have a significant association (OR = 1.1; 95% CI: 0.5, 2.3);
however, it did show a trend indicating discrepancy between knowledge and practice.
Most drug sellers had fragmentary knowledge regarding drug dispensing and
storage, and improper dispensing practices. There is a need to enforce existing legislation with training
programmes directed towards drug sellers and to involve the pharmaceutical industry, which plays an important role in influencing
pharmacy knowledge and practices.