|dc.description.abstract||The South African national drug policy (NDP) was implemented in 1994 to
ensure the availability and accessibility of essential drugs to all citizens. The
NDP also hoped to ensure the safety, efficacy and quality of drugs as well as
to promote the concepts of individual responsibility for health, preventative
care and informed decision making. However, drug utilisation studies
performed after the implementation of the national drug policy showed that
South Africa's pharmaceutical sector was characterised by indiscriminate and
irrational drug use, high drug prices and polypharmacy.
A retrospective study that was done in 2001 in the clinics supplied by Evander
Hospital showed that only 11.9% of prescriptions for acid-related disorders
complied with the standard treatment guidelines (STG). It became evident that
there was need for an intervention.
The general objective of this study was to determine the effect of an education
intervention, implemented in 2003, on the prescribing patterns of drugs for
acid-related disorders in the Govan Mbeki municipal clinics serviced by
An empirical pre-intervention and post-intervention study using primary data
obtained from patient files at the clinics was done. A quantitative survey of the
use of the drugs included in the study (magnesium trisilicate, aluminium
hydroxide/magnesium trisilicate combination tablets, cimetidine or
omeprazole) was conducted.
To determine a baseline, all prescriptions where the drugs selected for this
study were prescribed from 1 July 2001 to 31 December 2001 were collected.
For the period I January 2002 to 31 December 2002 retrospective data was
collected in the form of all prescriptions where the relevant drugs were
prescribed. Additional retrospective data was collected for the period January
2002 to 30 June 2003 to determine the outcome of treatment given.
The phi coefficient was calculated, and although statistical correlation could
not be proven, important tendencies could be detected in the data.
Only 8% of the prescriptions adhered to the STG before the presentation of
the face to face education intervention. In the first six months following the
intervention, STG compliance increased to 15.2%. In the following six-month
period, the STG compliance decreased to 14.1 %.
The assumption was made that patients were cured if they did not return with
the same complaint. Based on this assumption the conclusion was drawn
that, before the intervention, 50.2% of the patients were cured. In the first six
months after the intervention had taken place the percentage patients who did
not return increased from 50.2% to 60.6%. In the second six months after the
intervention the percentage of patients who did not return increased to 70.7%.
It may be concluded that compliance with the STG improved as a result of the
face to face education intervention. Moreover, it was found that cost efficiency
improved in parallel and the cure rate seemed to be positively affected by the