Prescription Practices Need To Be Reviewed
BMI View : It is vital that the Pakistani government enforces regulations to ensure the rational prescription, dispensing and consumption of medicines. While on one hand medicine affordability levels are low, a study highlighting irrational drug use in the country is a cause for concern. As hospitals and doctors continue to be the primary access point to healthcare and as access to medical services and pharmaceuticals improves over time - it is important that both public and private resources are directed towards the consumption of appropriate medicine regimens.
In 2012, Pakistan's prescription drugs market was valued at PKR142.93bn (US$1.53bn), accounting for 75.5% of the total drug market. The segment is forecast to reach a value of PKR228.77bn (US$2.13bn), experiencing a compound-annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.9% in local currency terms and 6.9% in US dollar terms. The boundary between the prescription and non-prescription segments is blurred by the fact that many prescription medicines are dispensed freely over the counter. Additionally, the lack of correct protocols when prescribing drugs has made it difficult to track the consumption and demand of prescription medicines in Pakistan. Nevertheless, the prescription drugs sector will remain the dominant part of the overall pharmaceutical market over the coming years, as hospitals and doctors continue to be the primary access point to healthcare and as access to medical services and pharmaceuticals improves over time.
Highlighting the difficulty in tracking the demand and consumption of prescription medicines, although an Essential Medicines Program was established in Pakistan in the 1970s, a study published in the International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences indicates that irrational drug use continues to be widely prevalent.  The study defines irrational medicines use as the prescription of an unnecessary number of medicines, the use of injections where oral prescriptions are available, the prescription of inadequate medicine dosages or consumption of medicines over an inadequate period of time, the use of antimicrobials for non-bacterial infections and inappropriate self-medication by patients. The study found that:
|Dominating The Drug Market|
|Pakistan: Prescription Drug Expenditure|