Assessment of Physicians’ Drug Prescribing Patterns at the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) Unit of a Teaching Hospital in the North Eastern Nigeria.

Roland Nnaemeka Okoro, Barnabas Galadima Shekari


Background: Drugs are pivotal to health care delivery and disease prevention.  For these drugs to achieve the desired goals, they must be prescribed rationally to patients.

Aim: The objectives of the present study were to assess physicians’ drug prescribing patterns and rational use of drugs at the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) unit of University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH), Maiduguri.

Methods: Four hundred and ninety five out-patients prescriptions filled and stored at NHIS pharmacy between April and December 2010 were assessed for prescribing patterns of drugs using WHO prescribing indicators.

Results: The average number of drugs per encounter was 3.3 ± 1.2; percentage of drugs prescribed by generic names and percentage of drugs prescribed from essential drug list were 49.8% and 65.1% respectively. Percentage of encounters with an antibiotic prescribed and percentage of encounter with an injection prescribed were 50.7% and 6.1% respectively. Analgesics/antipyretics (22.6%), antibiotics (21.9%) and anti-malarial drugs (16.4%) were the most frequently prescribed classes of drugs.

Conclusion: There were occurrence of poly pharmacy, overprescribing of antibiotics, lack of compliance with the principles of NHIS essential drugs, and generic prescribing occur at the NHIS unit of UMTH. There is urgent need to sensitize and retrain physicians in the area of study on rational prescribing.


Prescribing indicators; Prescribing pattern; Prescription sheets; rational use of drugs.

DOI: 10.5457/ams.v43i1 - 2.301