African Journal of
Pharmacy and Pharmacology

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Pharm. Pharmacol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0816
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPP
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 2195

Full Length Research Paper

Impact of prescribing and dispensing errors in patients on antiretroviral treatment in South Africa

Malangu N.* and Nchabeleng S. D.    
Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Limpopo, Pretoria North 0116, South Africa.      
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 10 March 2012
  •  Published: 15 May 2012


The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence and types of prescription errors and their impact on patients receiving antiretroviral treatment from a community pharmacy. A review of prescriptions was performed. The study population included all prescriptions of uninsured patients served during the study period. Of these, 12 (6.2%) errors were made during dispensing; while 181 (93.8%) errors occurred during the prescription stage. Of the type of errors committed, the most common prescription error was the incorrect or inappropriate regimen (33%); while the most common dispensing error was the omission error (50%). Though the majority of these errors were apprehended by pharmacists and corrected, some errors reached the patients. Although no fatal outcome was reported, these errors caused some temporary harm that necessitated the monitoring and hospitalization of the victims. The prevalence of prescription errors was 27.1% and the most common error was incorrect regimen. This finding suggests the need for continuing medical education on good antiretroviral treatment prescribing and dispensing practices.


Key words: Dispensing errors, patients, antiretroviral treatment.