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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 181-185

Medicines availability among hypertensive patients in primary health care facilities in a rural province in South Africa: Findings and implications


1 Division of Public Health Pharmacy and Management, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, Ga-Rankuwa, Pretoria; Department of Pharmacy, Tshilidzini Regional Hospital, Limpopo Province, South Africa
2 Division of Public Health Pharmacy and Management, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, Ga-Rankuwa, Pretoria, South Africa
3 Division of Public Health Pharmacy and Management, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, Ga-Rankuwa, Pretoria, South Africa; Department of Pharmacoepidemiology, Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, United Kingdom; Department of Laboratory Medicine, Division of Clinical Pharmacology, Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital Huddinge, Stockholm, Sweden; School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Brian Godman
Division of Public Health Pharmacy and Management, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, Ga-Rankuwa, Pretoria; Department of Pharmacoepidemiology, Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow; Department of Laboratory Medicine, Division of Clinical Pharmacology, Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital Huddinge, Stockholm; School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jrpp.JRPP_20_49

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Objective: Controlling blood pressure (BP) in hypertensive patients is a challenge, with the lack of antihypertensive medicines negatively impacting on BP control. Consequently, we assessed the availability of prescribed antihypertensives among patients with chronic hypertension attending primary health care (PHC) facilities in a rural province of South Africa and explored any association between medicines availability, the number of prescribed antihypertensive medicines and BP control. Methods: Secondary data that included patients' demographics, BP, and data on medicines availability of the intervention group from a 3 months' operational study conducted in rural PHC facilities in South Africa were analyzed. The association between medicines availability, the number of antihypertensive medicines, and BP control was explored. Findings: Fifty-five African patients (89.1% females) with a mean age of 61.3 years were included. Two-thirds (67.2%) received all their medicines during their monthly visits, 25.5% received some, and for 7.3%, there was no record of whether medicines were dispensed or not. Patients with controlled BP (60.0%) were more likely to have been prescribed only one antihypertensive medicine compared to patients with uncontrolled BP (20.7%) (P = 0.017; odds ratio: 5.75; 95% confidence interval: 1.46, 22.61). Conclusion: It is concerning that one-third of patients went home without all of their antihypertensive medicines from PHC facilities in this Province of South Africa where there is evidence of use of herbal medicines and uncontrolled BP contributing to high morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular diseases. Additional studies are needed to fully explore the association between medicines availability, their use, and BP control among patients.


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