An attempt has been made to quantitate drug consumption in a conurbation. The prescribing habits of physicians, self medication rate and therapeutic classes of drugs purchased have been evaluated. The study indicates that some of the prevailing practices in the area are unhealthy. The high self medication rate, faulty prescribing habits of physicians and liberal dispensing methods of pharmacist need to be viewed with concern. The wide gap between the precepts and practices prevailing among practitioners, the use of potent medicines without proper medical advice and the uninhibited sale of scheduled drugs over the pharmacy counter require careful consideration. If such unhealthy trends persist iatrogenic problems may surface in the near future. The physician, pharmacist and the public need to cooperate to create the proper pattern of drug usage.
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