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A cross-sectional study of awareness, knowledge, and attitude in pharmacoeconomics related to antibiotic usage in medical postgraduate students

Asha Latha Muppur, Sailaja Konda N V S R P L, Padmavathi D, Vasundra Devi B.


Background: Pharmacoeconomics is one of the burgeoning branch of pharmacology. In the scenario of popping up of various numbers of pharmaceutical companies the prices of various drugs especially antibiotics is varied and this study will help to decrease the expenditure of antibiotics where ever possible.

Aim and Objectives: This study will create awareness in medical postgraduates about prices of antibiotics, which will decrease irrational financial burden on patients and decrease in incidence of antibiotic resistance and adverse effects.

Materials and Methods: The study design is cross-sectional, observational, and questionnaire-based. A preformed questionnaire containing 30 questions was given to 110 medical postgraduate students. Along with demographic data, their awareness, knowledge, and attitude on pharmacoeconomics related to antibiotic usage were analyzed using appropriate statistical tools.

Results: One hundred students were aware of term pharmacoeconomics (90.9%), out of which 58% learned from PG curriculum. Knowledge was considered good when the participants answered 50% of the questions related to terms about pharmacoeconomics. In this context, about 28 female students and 11 male students had good knowledge about pharmacoeconomics (P = 0.02). Students of clinical specialty were more knowledgeable than non-clinical department (P = 0.01). Knowledge about some popular antibiotics prices was questioned. Students were well aware of beta lactum antibiotic prices (60%) compared to other groups. Least awareness was with prices of antifungal drugs. About 63% of students were cost conscious while prescribing antibiotics. The frequency of prescribing an antibiotic suggested by medical representative was about 38%.

Conclusion: The medical postgraduates who participated in this study had a good awareness regarding definition of term pharmacoeconomics. However, knowledge in depth about pharmacoeconomics was hard up. Hence, we recommend to inculcate pharmacoeconomics in 2nd-year MBBS course as a part of pharmacology, where in the students are taught to calculate the expenditure of various treatments. Regular continuing medical education must be conducted to update about pharmacoeconomics related to antibiotic usage. This study will further decrease the cost of treatment in patients.

Key words: Pharmacoeconomics; Medical Postgraduates; Antibiotics; Knowledge

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