Suleiman I. Sharif*, Sana Y. Birawi, Nour Elhouda Arafeh, Lubna A. Khaled and Jalal Edien M.W. Alkharrat


Background: Written information in drug package inserts is important for doctors, pharmacists and patients. Objective: The main objective of the present study was to assess the knowledge, attitude and practice of university students as patients toward written medication information in the DPIs and their views on how to improve their usefulness. Methods: Two hundreds pre-piloted questionnaires were distributed to medical and non-medical students of both sexes at the University of Sharjah-United Arab Emirates. The questions covered demographic data, health and medication status of students. Also students were asked to respond to questions on whether they read DPIs, who to consult when ill, what their source of information, Reasons not to read the DPIs and their views on how to improve the quality of the DPIs. Results: The response rate was 97.5% as 195 students responded. The majority (41.5%) obtain information from a doctor or a pharmacist while 33.8% and 40.5% read DPIs always and occasionally respectively. Reasons for not reading DPIs include small print, length of insert, technical and confusing terms and ease of obtaining information from health care professionals. Respondents also find DPIs informative, easy to understand and reading them will not deter them from using the medication but they should be shortened to contain only relevant and most important information and favor the inclusion of a toll free number to answer additional queries of patients. Attitudes and practice of female and medical students with DPIs seems significantly more than that of male and non-medical students respectively. Conclusion: Doctors and pharmacists in addition to providing optimal verbal information should encourage patients to read DPIs. Moreover, regulatory bodies in the Ministry of Health should exert more Stringent regulations and scrutinized critical evaluation of DPIs before registering the drug.

Keywords: Drug, Package, Inserts, University students, Evaluation.

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