Computing and Library Services - delivering an inspiring information environment

Drug utilization patterns in the global context: A systematic review

Atif, Muhammad, Scahill, Shane, Azeem, Muhammad, Sarwar, Muhammad Rehan and Babar, Zaheer-Ud-Din (2017) Drug utilization patterns in the global context: A systematic review. Health Policy and Technology. ISSN 2211-8837

PDF - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (815kB) | Preview



Standard drug use indicators have been developed by the World Health Organization/International Network for Rational Use of Drugs (WHO/INRUD). The purpose of this systematic review was to examine and report the current status of health facilities in different regions of the world in terms of drug use based on WHO/INRUD core drug use indicators.


Systematic review of the literature following PRISMA guidelines.


The INRUD bibliography, WHO archives, Google Scholar, Medline, PubMed, SpringerLink, ScienceDirect and Management Sciences for Health (MSH) resource databases were searched between 1985 and 2015 for studies -containing 12 WHO/INRUD core drug use indicators. Secondary data sources were also searched.


Four hundred and sixty three studies were retrieved and 398 were excluded as they did not provide relevant information or fulfill the selection criteria. Sixty articles met the criteria and were selected for final review. With respect to prescribing indicators, studies of “drug use” showed mixed patterns across geographic regions. Overall trends in “patient-care” and “facility-specific” indicators were similar across most of the World Bank regions. However, based on the Index of Rational Drug Use (IRDU) values, East Asia and the Pacific region demonstrated relatively better drug use practices compared with other regions.


This systematic review revealed that the drug use practices in all regions of the world are suboptimal. A regulated, multi-disciplinary, national body with adequate funding provided by governments throughout the world are a basic requirement for coordination of activities and services, to improve the rational use of drugs at a local level.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Prescribing indicators, Patient-care indicators, Facility-specific indicators, World Bank regions, Income level, Rational drug use
Subjects: R Medicine > RS Pharmacy and materia medica
Schools: School of Applied Sciences
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Sally Hughes
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2017 15:24
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 15:23


Downloads per month over past year

Repository Staff Only: item control page

View Item View Item

University of Huddersfield, Queensgate, Huddersfield, HD1 3DH Copyright and Disclaimer All rights reserved ©