Rational and cost-effective prescription of drugs requires up-to-date and readily accessible drug information (DI). Availability of and access to DI resources are major factors that affect quality of prescription. The aim of the study was to assess prescribers' DI needs and access to DI resources in Ethiopia. A facility-based, cross-sectional, quantitative study was conducted from February to April 2011 in 4 selected public health facilities in southwest Ethiopia. Data on areas of DI needs, access to DI resources, and attitudes of prescribers toward DI services were collected using a structured, self-administered questionnaire. The study population consisted of 410 of 447 initially contacted prescribers. The majority of the prescribers (93.4%) explained their needs for DI services. About 32.4% of the participants do not frequently refer to DI resources mainly due to the difficulty of acquiring the required information promptly and/or because they do not have access to DI resources. Compared with participants from a health center, participants from specialized referral, zonal, and district hospitals were found to be 6 (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 5.81; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.77-12.20), 5 (AOR, 4.77; 95% CI, 2.43-9.38), and 4 (AOR, 4.00; 95% CI, 1.50-10.66) times more likely to consult DI resources, respectively. Lack of access to DI resources and difficulty in acquiring the required information on time were the main reasons that prescribers gave for not frequently referring to DI resources. DI services should be established and expanded in health facilities.
- drug information
- drug information resources