Knowledge, attitude and practices related to drug prescription among medical officers and postgraduate residents in B. P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences


  • Dillisher Rai Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, B.P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences, Dharan, Nepal
  • Gajendra P. Rauniar Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, B.P. Koirala Institute of Health SciencesDepartment of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, B.P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences, Dharan, Nepal
  • Dipesh R. Pandey Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, B.P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences, Dharan, Nepal
  • Namita K. Mandal Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, B.P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences, Dharan, Nepal
  • Deependra P. Sarraf Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, B.P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences, Dharan, Nepal



Attitude, Knowledge, Practices, Prescription, Residents


Background: Pharmacology, being both basic and applied science, forms the backbone of rational therapeutics. Traditional teaching of pharmacology is teacher centered with emphasis on learning the facts on drugs. Inadequate knowledge may cause irrational prescribing which leads to huge loss of lives and money. Objective was to evaluate the knowledge, attitude and practices among doctors regarding prescription.

Methods: A semi-structured questionnaire was used among medical officers and postgraduate residents to collect the data regarding their undergraduate training in clinical pharmacology and therapeutics, prescribing habits, commonly consulted drug information sources and any perceived deficiencies in their undergraduate clinical pharmacology teaching. Descriptive statistics were calculated.

Results: Out of 116 respondents, 69 were males and mean age was 28.8±2.3 years. Ninety-eight (84.5%) participants were aware about teaching of prescription writing in their undergraduate course and 101 (87.1%) participants knew the parts of prescription. One hundred (86.2%) participants considered safety as the most important aspects of prescribing a drug. One hundred and four (89.7%) participants thought that undergraduate pharmacology training taught them to prescribe safely. One hundred and eleven (95.7%) thought that the undergraduate pharmacology teaching should be improved. Out of 116 participants, 84 (72.4%) had encountered problems while prescribing during their internship. Sixty-eight (58.6%) participants used internet as a source of information about safety, efficacy and cost of drugs for prescription. Ninety-five (81.9%) participants prescribed supplemental vitamins and irons according to patient need.

Conclusions: Majority of participants felt that they do have good knowledge in prescribing medicines and the training on prescription writing should be reinforced.


Metrics Loading ...


Rangachari PK. Basic science in an integrated medical curriculum: the case of pharmacology. Adv Health Sci Educ Theory Pract. 1997;2:163-71.

Joshi MP. Problem-oriented pharmacotherapy teaching. In: Adhikari RK, Jayawickramarajah PT, editors. Essentials of Medical Education. Kathmandu: Health Learning Materials Centre. 1996.

Kaufman DM, Mann KV. Achievement of students in a conventional and problem-based learning (PBL) curriculum. Adv Health Sci Educ Theory Pract. 1999;4:245-60.

Gitanjali B, Shashindran CH. Curriculum in clinical pharmacology for medical undergraduates of India. Indian J Pharmacol. 2006;38:S108-14.

Flockhart DA, Yasuda SU, Pezzullo JC, Knollmann BC. Teaching rational prescribing: a new clinical pharmacology curriculum for medical students. Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol. 2002;366:33-43.

Orme M, Frolich J, Vrhovac B. Towards a core curriculum in clinical pharmacology for undergraduate medical students in Europe. Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2002;58:635-40.

Vollebregt JA, Van Oldenrijk J, Kox D, van Galen SR, Sturm B, Metz JC et al. Evaluation of a pharmacotherapy context-learning programme for preclinical medical students. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2006;62(6):666-72.

Medical Council of India. Graduate Medical Education Regulations. New Delhi: Medical Council of India; 1997.

Shankar PR, Dubey AK, Palaian S, Pranaya M, Saha A, Deshpande VY. Favourable student attitudes towards pharmacology in a medical school in Western Nepal. J Int Assoc Med Sci Educ. 2005;156:31-8.

Kshirsagar NA. Rational use of medicines: cost consideration and way forward. Indian J Med Res. 2016;144(4):502-5.

Promoting Rational Drug Use under NRHM. Indian Medical Council. 2002. Available at: Accessed on December 7, 2018.

KD Tripathi. Essentials of Medical Pharmacology. 6th ed. New Delhi: Jaypee brothers medical publishers (P) Ltd; 2008.

Velo GP, Minuz P. Medication errors: prescribing faults and prescription errors. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2009;67(6):624-8.

Pote S, Tiwari P, D’Cruz S. Medication prescribing errors in a public teaching hospital in India: A prospective study. Pharm Pract (Granada). 2007;5(1):17-20.

Agrawal P, Sachan A. Statistical analysis of medication errors in Delhi, India. Indo Glob J. 2012;2(1):88-97.

Promoting rational use of medicines: core components. World Health Organization, Geneva, 2002. Available at: factsheets/fs338/en/. Accessed on December 7, 2018.

Aronson JK, Henderson G, Webb DJ, Rawlins MD. A prescription for better prescribing. BMJ. 2006;333:459-60.

Revathy S, Sakthibalan M, Bikash RM, Balabalajee J. Effect of educational intervention on the knowledge and attitude on prescribing amongst interns of a tertiary care hospital: a questionnaire-based study. Int J Basic Clin Pharmacol. 2016;5(2):366-73.

Likic R, Maxwell SR. Prevention of medication errors: teaching and training. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2009;67(6):656-61.

Dean B, Schachter M, Vincent C, Barber N. Prescribing errors in hospital inpatients: their incidence and clinical significance. Qual Saf Health Care. 2002;11:340-44.

Mundhava S, Lalwani U, Pillai A. Prescribing knowledge, attitude, practice of interns and post graduates of a tertiary care hospital in India. World J Pharmacy Pharma Sci. 2015;4(6):451-8.

Upadhyaya P, Seth V, Sharma M, Ahmed M, Moghe VV, Khan ZY et al. Prescribing knowledge in the light of undergraduate clinical pharmacology and therapeutics teaching in India: views of first-year postgraduate students. Adv Med Educ Pract. 2012;3:47-53.

Parmar D, Jadav S. The concept of personal drugs in the undergraduate pharmacology practical curriculum. Indian J Pharmacol. 2007;39(3):165-7.

Vries T De. Guide to good prescribing. Geneva, World Health Organization, 1994. Available at: Accessed on February 9, 2019.

Balasubramaniam K. Equitable Pricing, Affordability and Access to Essential Drugs in Developing Countries: Consumers Perspective. Hosbjor: WHO/WTO Secretariat Workshop on Differential Pricing and Financing of Essential Drugs; 2001. Available at: trips_e/hosbjor_presentations_e/35balasubramaniam_e.pdf. Accessed on February 9, 2019.

Flegel K. The adverse effects of brand-name drug prescribing. CMAJ. 2012;184(5):616.

Shrestha R, Shrestha S, Sapkota B, Thapa S, Ansari M, Khatiwada AP, et al. Generic medicine and generic prescribing in Nepal: an implication for policymakers. J Multidiscip Healthc. 2022;15:365-73.






Original Research Articles