A bibliometric study of publication patterns in rational use of medicines in Iran

Sarah Mousavi, Ava Mansouri, Alireza Ahmadvand


Background: Inappropriate use of drugs is commonly observed in health care system throughout the world especially in developing countries. The consequences of irrational use of drugs are enormous for patients and communities. Proper interventions would have important financial and public health benefits. Several studies have been performed about rational use of drugs in Iran.

Objective: The objective of this study was to assess scientific output on rational use of drugs in Iran using a bibliometric analysis of publications.

Methods: A systematic search was conducted for finding all papers (English and Persian) using Pubmed, Web of Science, Google Scholar, CINAHL, Proquest, International Pharmaceutical Abstract and Persian databases including SID, Iran Medex and MagIran. Retrieved articles were categorized by research topics and year of publication. Impact Factor of the journals, citation analysis of first authors, most cited topics and average citations per item were analyzed.

Results: A total of 668 articles were retrieved from all search engines after excluding irrelevant, 466 articles were included in the review. Number of publications increased dramatically after 2001(more than 10 times). Evaluation of prescribing pattern (15%), self-medication (11.3%) and adverse drug reaction (9.1%) were among the most studied topics. From the total of 165 journals, 60 of them had Impact factors and 125 articles were published in these journals. Antimicrobial resistance and adverse drug reaction were the most cited topic.

Conclusion: Publication of articles on rational use of drugs research in Iran has undergone an important increase during last decade. Further analysis of research outputs is necessary to achieve rational use of medicines goal.


Drug Utilization; Bibliometrics; Iran

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