Investigation of over the Counter Diagnosis and Drug Dispensation in Chemists: A Case Study in Thika Sub-County, Kenya
American Journal of Theoretical and Applied Statistics
Volume 4, Issue 6, November 2015, Pages: 464-470
Received: Sep. 22, 2015; Accepted: Sep. 25, 2015; Published: Oct. 12, 2015
Views 3078      Downloads 73
Ndung’u Isaac Kamau, Department of Statistics and Computer Sciences, Moi University, Eldoret, Kenya
Article Tools
Follow on us
Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs are medicines that may be obtained directly by a consumer without a prescription from a healthcare professional, as compared to drugs sold to consumers possessing a valid prescription. In many countries, Kenya included, these drugs are often located on the shelves of stores like any other packaged product. Some drugs may be legally classified as OTC but may only be dispensed by a pharmacist after an assessment of the patient's needs and/or the provision of patient education. OTC drugs are capable of being misused, abused especially where inappropriate drugs and incorrect dosages are given which may lead to short and long-term negative effects. The major concern surrounds the correct diagnosis and the appropriateness of the dispensed drugs and information provided to the consumers. This study focused on the OTC drugs in chemists. It was important to know why people opt for OTC drugs instead of the prescribed drugs. To meet this objective, an observational study was carried out in Thika Sub-county of Kenya to determine why patients prefer the OTC drugs to prescribed drugs. The results showed that the cost of prescription, source of diagnosis information, source of prescription information, amount of income of the respondent and previous experience on the same similar symptoms were determinants of buying OTC drugs. Education levels, age, place of residence, occupation and hospital type near the respondent were the covariates. The results of this study have enabled the researcher to come up with recommendations to the Ministries of Medical Services and that of Public Health on the best policies to use in dispensing OTC drugs.
Population, Over-the-Counter Drugs, Diagnosis Information, Thika Sub-county
To cite this article
Ndung’u Isaac Kamau, Investigation of over the Counter Diagnosis and Drug Dispensation in Chemists: A Case Study in Thika Sub-County, Kenya, American Journal of Theoretical and Applied Statistics. Vol. 4, No. 6, 2015, pp. 464-470. doi: 10.11648/j.ajtas.20150406.16
Copyright © 2015 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abiola A, A. F A, Alhassan M, Famuyide A, Nwaorgu O, Olujohungbe A, Uche F, (1983). A qualitative assessment of medicine sellers in Igbo-Ora. Ibadan, Nigeria: University of Ibadan.
Adome R. O, Whyte S. R, Hardon A, (1996). Popular pills: Community drug use in uganda. Amsterdam: Het Spinhuis.
Anderson C, Blenkinsopp a & Armstrong M (2004). Patients perspectives on community pharmacy sevices. Health expectations, 7: 191-202.
Brieger W. R, Osamor P. E, Salami K. K, Oladepo O, Otusanya S.A, (2004). Interactions between patent medicine vendors and customers in urban and rural Nigeria. Health Policy Plan 19: 177– 182. District development plan (DDP; 2005, Thika).
Fassin D, (1988). Illicit sale of pharmaceuticals in Africa: sellers and clients in the suburbs of Dakar. Trop Geogr Med 40: 166–170.
Indalo A, (1997). Antibiotic sale behaviour in Nairobi: a contributing factor to antimicrobial drug resistance. East Afr Med J 74: 171– 173.
Goel P, Ross Degnan D, Berman P, Soumerai S, (1996). Retail pharmacies in developing countries: a behavior and intervention framework. Soc Sci Med 42: 1155–1161. http:/
Geissler P. W, Nokes K, Prince R. J, Odhiambo R. A, Aagaard-Hansen J, Ouma J.H. (2000). Children and medicines: self-treatment of common illnesses among Luo schoolchildren in western Kenya. Soc Sci Med 50: 1771–1783.
Goodman C, Kachur S. P, Abdulla S, Mwageni E, Nyoni J, Schellenberg J. A, Mills A, Bloland P. (2004). Retail supply of malaria-related drugs in rural Tanzania: risks and opportunities. Trop Med Int Health 9: 655–663.
Greenwood D. J & Levin M. (2005). The sage handbook of qualitative research. Thousand Oaks’, California.
Habermas (1966). Ethical competence and moral distress in the health sector care. Sweden.
KDHS (2008/2009). Preliminary results from the Kenya Demographic Health Survey.
Kettis L, Kjellgren K, Ring L, Maroti M & Serup J.(2006). The role of dermatologists, nurses and pharmacists in chronic dermatological treatment: actadermato-venereologica, 86: 202-208.
Kothari C. R (2003). Research methodology. New Delhi, India. Http://
Marsh V. M, Mutemi W. M, Muturi J, Haaland A, Watkins W. M, Otieno G, Marsh K, (1999). Changing home treatment of childhood fevers by training shop keepers in rural Kenya. Trop Med Int Health 4: 383–389.
Marsh V. M, Mutemi W. M, Willets A, Bayah K, Were S, Ross A, Marsh K, (2004). Improving malaria home treatment by training drug retailers in rural Kenya. Trop Med Int Health 9: 451– 460.
Massele A. Y, Sayi J, Nsimba S. E, Ofori Adjei D, Laing RO, (1993). Knowledge and management of malaria in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. East Afr Med J 70: 639–642.
Mcauley J. W, miller M. A, Klatte E & Shneker B. F (2009). Patients with epilepsy's perception on community pharmacist's current and potential role in their care. Epilepsy and behavior, 14: 141-145.
Nshakira N, Kristensen M, Ssali F, Whyte S.R. (2002). Appropriate treatment of malaria? Use of antimalarial drugs for children’s fevers in district medical units, drug shops and homes in eastern Uganda. Trop Med Int Health 7: 309–316.
Ongore D & Nyabola L. (1996). Role of shops and shopkeepers in malaria control. East Afr Med J 73: 390–394.
Salter C, Holland R, Harvey I, Henwood K. (2007). Assessing pharmacists’ impacts in primary health care: Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada.
Schommer J. C (1997). Patients perspectives on community pharmacy services American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 61: 402-406
Strauss & Corbin. (1998) Basics of Qualitative Techniques, uk
Tawfik Y, Nsungwa-Sabitii J, Greer G, Owor J, Kesande R, Prysor-Jones S. (2006). Negotiating improved case management of childhood illness with formal and informal private practitioners in Uganda. Trop Med Int Health 11: 967–973.
Wolf-Gould C, Taylor N, Horwitz S, Barry M. (1991). Misinformation about medications in rural Ghana. Soc Sci Med 33: 83– 89.
Van der Geest S, (1998). The articulation of formal and informal medicine distribution in south Cameroon. The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Van der Geest S, 1987. Self-care and the informal sale of drugs in south Cameroon. Soc Sci Med 25: 293–305.
Science Publishing Group
1 Rockefeller Plaza,
10th and 11th Floors,
New York, NY 10020
Tel: (001)347-983-5186