Patient knowledge of medicines dispensed from Ghanaian community pharmacies

  • Afia F. Marfo
  • Frances T. Owusu-Daaku
  • Evelyn Kyerewaa-Akromah
Keywords: Drug Labeling, Comprehension, Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice, Pharmacies, Ghana


Background: One vital requirement for patient adherence to medicines is good patient knowledge of the medicines dispensed and this will invariably be linked to good labelling and counselling.

Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the quality of labelling of medicines and determine patient knowledge of the administration of medicines dispensed from a community pharmacy in Ghana.

Methods: From 6th to 29th January, 2010, dispensed prescriptions of 280 clients were purposely sampled to evaluate the quality of labelling. These clients were also interviewed about their knowledge of the last medicine received immediately after dispensing. A scoring system was employed by awarding a point for each attribute written on the package and each attribute stated by the patient. The dispensing attributes noted were name, dosage, frequency, duration, quantity and route of administration.

Results: Of the 280 patients interviewed, 157 (56%) were males. Thirty one (11%) had no education and 99(35%) were secondary school graduates. Antimalarials comprised 17.9% and analgesics, 15.4% of medicines dispensed. The name, quantity, dosage, frequency, duration of therapy and route of administration were written on the label in 98%, 99%, 55%, 54%, 6% and 2% respectively of the dispensed medicines. The mean labelling score was 3.096 (SD=1.05) out of 6. The corresponding patient knowledge values were 63%, 80%, 80%, 75%, 57% and 86%. The mean knowledge score was 4.375 (SD; 1.38) out of 6. The chi square test p-value for the effect of demographic characteristics (sex, educational background, location) on patient knowledge of medicines dispensed were p=0.454; p=0.000, and p=0.138 respectively

Conclusion: Patient knowledge of the administration of dispensed medicines was rated good; and this largely corresponded with the quality of labelling, except that the duration of therapy and route of administration was not frequently written and so labelling was rated just above average.


Download data is not yet available.


1. Newman MJ, Frimpong E, Asamoah-Adu A. Resistance to antimicrobial drugs in Ghana. Ghanaian-Dutch Collaboration for Health Research and Development. Project Number 2001/GD/07. Technical Repot Series No. 5. 2006

2. WHO. Promoting rational use of medicines: core components [ (Accessed 21/1/10)

3. Ghimire S, Nepal S, Bhandari S, Nepal P, Palaian S. A prospective surveillance of drug prescribing and dispensing in a teaching hospital in western Nepal. J Pak Med Assoc. 2009;59(10):726-731.

4. Hazra A, Tripathi SK, Alam MS. Prescribing and dispensing activities at the health facilities of a non-governmental organization. Natl Med J India. 2000;13(4):177-182.

5. Chareonkul C, Khun VL, Boonshuyar C. Rational drug use in Cambodia: study of three pilot health centers in Kampong Thom Province. Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health. 2002;33(2):418-424.

6. Garjani A, Rahbar M, Ghafourian T, Maleki N, Garjani A, Salimnejad M, Shamsmohammadi M, Baghchevan V, Aghajani H. Relationship of pharmacist interaction with patient knowledge of dispensed drugs and patient satisfaction. East Mediterr Health J. 2009;15(4):934-943.

7. Zenhom SI, Amer N, Ghoneim, M, Abou El Enein N. Assessment of Drug Utilization Patterns in Some Health Insurance Outpatient Clinics in Alexandria. (Accessed 26/05/2012)

8. FIP guidelines for the labels of prescribed medicines 2001. Available at: (Accessed 21/1/2010]

9. Boonstra E, Lindbaek M, Ngome E, Tshukudu K, Fugelli P. Labelling and patient knowledge of dispensed drugs as quality indicators in primary care in Botswana. Qual Saf Health Care. 2003;12(3):168-175.

10. UNICEF. At a glance: Ghana. (Accessed 3/4/2010)

11. About Ghana. Available at: (accessed. 4/4/2010)

12. WHO. 8 Steps for Establishing Model Areas for Community-Based Initiatives. Cairo; WHO: 2003. (Accessed 4/4/2010)

13. Krause G, Benzler J, Heinmüller R, Borchert M, Koob E, Ouattara K, Diesfeld HJ. Performance of village pharmacies and patient compliance after implementation of essential drug programme in rural Burkina Faso. Health Policy Plan. 1998;13(2):159-166.

14. British National Formulary (BNF 60) [ (Accessed 3/4/2010)

15. Alam K, Mishra P, Prabhu M, Shankar PR, Palaian S, Bhandari RB, Bista D. A study on rational drug prescribing and dispensing in outpatients in a tertiary care teaching hospital of Western Nepal. Kathmandu Univ Med J (KUMJ). 2006;4(4):436-443.

16. USP. Health Literacy and Patient Education. (Accessed 4/4/2010)

17. Katz MG, Kripalani S, Weiss BD. Use of pictorial aids in medication instructions: a review of the literature. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2006;63(23):2391-2397.
How to Cite
Marfo AF, Owusu-Daaku FT, Kyerewaa-Akromah E. Patient knowledge of medicines dispensed from Ghanaian community pharmacies. Pharm Pract (Granada) [Internet]. 1 [cited 2019Jun.27];11(2):66-0. Available from:
Original Research

Most read articles by the same author(s)