Introduction: Inappropriate prescribing practices are a major problem worldwide, especially in developing countries. Senegal has national drug policy and various tools to promote the rational use of medicines. However, little is known about their performance. We aimed to assess prescribing indicators in the public and private sectors.
Method: We carried out a cross-sectional study in an urban setting, Thiès. Our research ran from December 1, 2017 to January 16, 2018. A double sample was constituted. One consisted of 20 community pharmacies randomly selected using Microsoft Excel 2010. The other included 600 prescriptions. In each pharmacy, the first 30 prescriptions received on the day of the survey were recorded. The collection tool was WHO form 1. The analysis was done using Microsoft Excel 2010.
Results: A total of 600 prescriptions were recorded. The average number of medicines per prescription was 2.52. The percentage of medicines prescribed by an international nonproprietary name was 7%. Percentage of medicines prescribed from Senegal’s national essential medicines list was 32%. The use of antibiotics and injection was 40% and 7%, respectively. The results were almost similar between the public and private sectors.
Conclusion: Our study has demonstrated irrational prescribing practices in the public and private sectors in an urban setting. Capacity building of health professionals on the rational use of drugs is needed. Further studies would be necessary to better understand the extent of the problem and its determinants.