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Free Content Private pharmacies in tuberculosis control—a neglected link [Notes from the Field]

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In most settings in India, private pharmacies dispense prescriptions for anti-tuberculosis drugs made out by private practitioners. In a cross-sectional study, we assessed the dispensing practices for tuberculosis and knowledge about the national tuberculosis programme of 300 pharmacies. In all, 2800 prescriptions were dispensed monthly by the pharmacies. Doctors' prescriptions were for durations of several months, but half of the patients bought drugs one dose at a time for self-administration. This practice might promote drug resistance. Although 95% of pharmacists were not aware of the existence of the tuberculosis programme, the majority (97%) were willing to learn and contribute towards tuberculosis control. The need and the potential of private pharmacies for participation in tuberculosis control are highlighted.

Keywords: TB control; anti-tuberculosis drugs; pharmacies; resistance

Document Type: Short Communication

Affiliations: Tuberculosis Research Centre, Indian Council of Medical Research, Chetput, Chennai, India

Publication date: 2002-02-01

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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