Original Research Article | OPEN ACCESS

Factors affecting availability and use of herbal medicines by community pharmacists

Ufuoma S Ahwinahwi1 , Evans K Atakulu2

1Department of Clinical pharmacy and pharmacy administration , Delta State University, Abraka; 2Safari Pharmacy and Health Fitness Shop , Warri, Nigeria.

For correspondence:-  Ufuoma Ahwinahwi   Email:  ushaloma@yahoo.com

Published: 31 December 2015

Citation: Ahwinahwi US, Atakulu EK. Factors affecting availability and use of herbal medicines by community pharmacists. J Sci Pract Pharm 2015; 2(1):18-22 doi: https://doi.org/10.47227/jsppharm/v2i1.5

© 2015 The author(s).
This is an Open Access article that uses a funding model which does not charge readers or their institutions for access and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0) and the Budapest Open Access Initiative (http://www.budapestopenaccessinitiative.org/read), which permit unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited..


Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate the contribution of community pharmacists to the use and availability of herbal medicines in two towns in Delta state, Nigeria.
Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted with the aid of self-administered questionnaires distributed to superintendent pharmacists in community pharmacies, responses were filled and questionnaires were collected and analyzed.
Results: Of the 45community pharmacists that voluntarily participated in the study, 25 (55.6%)stocked herbal medicines in their premises. Majority of them said they got their information of herbal medicine from the internet 2 (30.7%).Sixty percent of the respondents believed that herbal medicines were somewhat effective, some, 13 (28.9%), believed they were effective while only few 5 (11.1%) believed they were ineffective. Patients (73.3%), Physicians 11(24.4%) and other healthcare workers 22 (48.95) patronize community pharmacies for herbal medicine products. The perceived reasons for which they receive patronage of herbal medicine products were because herbal medicines were cheap 10 (13.1%), safe 15 (20.3%), natural 26 (35.5%) and efficacious 17(30%). The volume of herbal medicines stocked in community pharmacies  minimal as majority of  pharmacies31,(68.9%)  have less than  ten percent of their total stock as herbal medicines and 13.3% allocated only between ten and twenty percent of their total stock to herbal medicines. Perceived barriers to the use of herbal medicines included limitation of knowledge 33(37.5%), inappropriate literature 28(30.7) and lack of regulatory measures 27(30.7%). A large proportion of the respondents indicated interest on improving their knowledge on herbal medicines 38 (84.45%). Among suggested measures to improve on herbal medicines use, adequate regulatory measures ranked topmost 17(35%).                           
Conclusion: More than half of the community pharmacists stocked herbal medicines at their premises and were willing to update their knowledge in order to improve on the safe use of these products.

Keywords: Herbal medicines, Community pharmacies, Pharmacists

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