Document Type : Original Article


1 Food and Drug Organization, Ministry of Health and Medical Education, Tehran, Iran

2 National Committee on Rational Drug Use, Food and Drug Organization, Ministry of Health and Medical Education, Tehran, Iran

3 National Committee on Rational Drug Use, Food and Drug Organization, Ministry of Health and Medical Education, Tehran, Iran Food and Drug Organization, Ministry of Health and Medical Education, Tehran, Iran Department of Pharmacoeconomics and Pharmaceutical Management, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Policy Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS), Tehran, Iran

4 Department of Natural and Traditional Medicines, Food and Drug Organization, Tehran, Iran


Objective: The objective was to quantify the specialists’ prescription pattern in Iran and 
to point out the prescribing behavioral differences among several specialties.
Methods: A retrospective cross‑sectional study was carried out on the claim data. National 
prescription data were obtained on the basis of the claims that the pharmacies submitted 
to the insurers during 1 year period of the study. More than 85 million prescriptions were 
analyzed using “Rx‑Analyst” software that is designed and applied by National Committee 
of Rational Use of Medicines in Iran. Specified medical specialties were considered and the 
World Health Organization prescription indicators were used to evaluate the physicians’ 
prescribing behavior.
Findings: Average items per prescription were ranged from 3.68 in cardiologists’ to 2.06 
in dermatologists’ prescriptions. The highest and the lowest mean price were belonged to 
neurologists’ and ophthalmologists’ prescriptions, respectively. In addition, 45% of patients 
received antibiotics, 41% of patients received injectable form of drugs, and 23% received 
corticosteroids. A high tendency toward prescribing corticosteroids and antibiotics as well 
as an injectable form of medicines was observed among general physicians.
Conclusion: There is an inevitable need to improve prescription habits among different 
specialties, especially among general practitioners. This causes the policymakers to put more 
emphasis on priorities such as continuous education.


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