Drug Utilization Studies

Author(s): Helena Gama


Drug utilization studies aim to evaluate factors related to the prescribing, dispensing, administering and taking of medication, and its associated events (either beneficial or adverse). Since the early 1960's the interest in Drug Utilization Studies has been increasing, first with market-only purposes, then for evaluating the quality of medical prescription and comparing patterns of use of specific drugs. Presently drug utilization studies are an evolving area. Their scope is to evaluate the present state and future trends of drug usage, to estimate crudely disease prevalence, drug expenditures, appropriateness of prescriptions and adherence to evidence-based recommendations. The increasing importance of drug utilization studies as a valuable investigation resource in pharmacoepidemiology has been bridging it with other health related areas, such as public health, pharmacovigilance, pharmacoeconomics, eco-pharmacovigilance or pharmacogenetics.

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