Why are antibiotics overprescribed? (6) Access to antibiotics without prescription

21 June, 2022

Dear Dr. Eric, [*see note 1 below]

Your point is right. In my country, Benin, we keep facing the issue of dispensation of antibiotics without prescription, especially in Southern Benin.

Please find attached a copy of my research article about dispensing antibiotics without prescription in Southern Benin. I am available for further discussion on that issue. [*see note 2 below]

Aurel Constant E. ALLABI, MD, PhD, MPH, FellowClinResearch

HIFA profile: Aurel Constant Allabi is a medical doctor at CHU-Calavi in Benin. Professional interests: Pharmacovigilance, rational use of drugs, Infectious diseases: HIV, TB, Malaria. acallabi AT hotmail.com

[*Notes from NPW, moderator:

1. Aurel is responding to Eric van Praag, Tanzania: [ https://www.hifa.org/dgroups-rss/exploring-antimicrobial-stewardship-edu... ]

2. HIFA does not carry attachments. Here are the citation and abstract:

Aurel Constant ALLABI., et al. “Dispensing of Antibiotics Without Prescription in Southern Benin, West Africa, 2018”. EC

Pharmacology and Toxicology 10.4 (2022): 09-17.


The over-the-counter sale of antibiotics is recognized as a basis for antibiotic abuse and thus represents a global threat. This study aimed to determine the frequency of dispensing of certain antibiotics without prescription in the city of Cotonou. This was a cross-sectional study with descriptive and analytical aims. Data were collected in randomly selected pharmacies in Cotonou. A pseudo client visited some pharmacies to request the delivery of certain antibiotics and clinical scenarios were simulated to assess the attitudes and practices of professionals. Investigative staff visited 55 pharmacies and requested either amoxicillin/clavulanic acid, ciprofloxacin, gentamycin or ceftriaxone without providing a prescription or any other justification for the request. The frequencies of antibiotics dispensed without prescription during the visit of the pseudo-client were Amoxicillin-clavulanic acid cp (100%), Gentamycin 80 mg inj (60%), Ciprofloxacin 500 mg cp (72, 73%), and Ceftriaxone 1 g inj (58,18%). In the diarrhea scenario, only 4% of the pharmacies visited offered oral rehydration. For the bronchopulmonary clinical case, the most proposed antibiotics were:

Amoxicillin-clavulanic acid (50%), Amoxicillin (28.57%) and Azithromycin (21.43%). The dispensing of antibiotics without prescription in pharmacies is high. There is an urgent need for regulatory measures and public awareness to limit this practice.]