Value and Types of Medicines Returned by Patients to Sultan Qaboos University Hospital Pharmacy, Oman

Khalid Al-Siyabi, Kassim Al-Riyami


Objective: Frequent physician visits, improper therapeutic adherence and treatment modification after hospitalisation could result in unused medicine accumulating at home. This study aims to examine the value and types of medicines returned by patients at a tertiary care unit in Oman. Method: All medicines voluntarily returned to Sultan Qaboos University Hospital main pharmacy between February and June 2003 were reviewed. The cost of these medicines and potential cost saving, if some were returned to the hospital distribution cycle, were computed. A method of determining by physical observation whether they can be recycled was developed based on institutional-based guidelines and criteria. Results: Three hundred and eighty one patients returned their medicines (69% female). The patients returned a total of 1071 drugs (mean per patient 3.1 per month) corresponding to a total cost of Omani Rials (OR) 20,140 (mean per patient OR 10.6) (1 OR = 2.58 US dollar). Potential cost saving was OR 5,550 (mean per patient OR 2.9). Medicines of the cardiovascular group were returned in greatest number (24%) while anti-infective drugs had the highest share of the total cost (61%). Conclusion: The study identified values and types of medicines returned by patients at tertiary care unitin Oman. Medications used for cardiovascular and infectious diseases appeared as the most frequent and the most expensive returned medicines. It suggests that health care providers in Oman should devise health education programmes to improve proper utilizationof medicine. 


Drugs, supply and distribution; Prescriptions, drug; Health care economics; Oman.

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Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, PO Box 35, Postal Code 123, Al-Khod, Muscat, Oman

ISSN (Print edition): 2075-051X ISSN (Internet edition): 2075-0528

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