Antibiotic consumption at community pharmacies: a multicenter repeated prevalence surveillance using WHO methodology

Zikria Saleem, Erwin Martinez Faller, Brian Godman, Muhammad Sajeel Ahmed Malik, Aqsa Iftikhar, Sonia Iqbal, Aroosa Akbar, Mahnoor Hashim, Aneeqa Amin, Sidra Javeed, Afreenish Amir, Alia Zafar, Farah Sabih, Furqan Khurshid Hashmi, Mohamed Azmi Hassali

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Background: Antibiotics are losing their effectiveness because of the rapid emergence of resistant bacteria. Unnecessary antimicrobial use increases antimicrobial resistance (AMR). There are currently no published data on antibiotic consumption in Pakistan at the community level. This is a concern given high levels of self-purchasing of antibiotics in Pakistan and variable knowledge regarding antibiotics and AMR among physicians and pharmacists. Objective: The objective of this repeated prevalence survey was to assess the pattern of antibiotic consumption data among different community pharmacies to provide a baseline for developing future pertinent initiatives. Methods: A multicenter repeated prevalence survey conducted among community pharmacies in Lahore, a metropolitan city with a population of approximately 10 million people, from October to December 2017 using the World Health Organization (WHO) methodology for a global program on surveillance of antimicrobial consumption. Results: The total number of defined daily doses (DDDs) dispensed per patient ranged from 0.1 to 50.0. In most cases, two DDDs per patient were dispensed from pharmacies. Co-amoxiclav was the most commonly dispensed antibiotic with a total number of DDDs at 1018.15. Co-amoxiclav was followed by ciprofloxacin with a total number of 486.6 DDDs and azithromycin with a total number of 472.66 DDDs. The least consumed antibiotics were cefadroxil, cefotaxime, amikacin, and ofloxacin, with overall consumption highest in December. Conclusion: The study indicated high antibiotic usage among community pharmacies in Lahore, Pakistan particularly broad-spectrum antibiotics, which were mostly dispensed inappropriately. The National action plan of Pakistan on AMR should be implemented by policymakers including restrictions on the dispensing of antimicrobials.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalMedicine Access @ Point of Care
Early online date16 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022


  • antibiotics
  • community pharmacies
  • consumption
  • defined daily doses
  • prevalence surveys


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