Background and importance Prescription medication sharing (PMS) has been associated with numerous adverse health outcomes.1 Despite the risks associated with this behaviour, very little is known about prescription medication sharing.1
Aim and objectives The aim of the study was to examine PMS behaviours among adults living in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).
Material and methods This was a cross sectional survey study. The eligibility criteria were an ability to communicate in Arabic or English and age ≥18 years. An online survey (Gascoyne’s questionnaire)1 was distributed during December 2018 to a convenient sample of 760 participants by the university email network and social media via an internet link leading to a web based survey platform in QuestionPro. Emails and WhatsApp messages were sent by the researcher to her contacts and professional colleagues working in different sectors across KSA. They were encouraged to post the online survey on relevant social media forums using their personal accounts (ie, Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp). Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) 22 was used for data analysis. Ethics approval was obtained from Imam Abdulrahman bin Faisal University.
Results Twenty per cent of participants revealed they would borrow a prescription medication and 32% would lend a prescription medication. The prevalence of borrowing and lending prescription medications were found to be 14% and 16% in 2018 (past year), respectively. Twenty per cent of participants revealed that they had given a medication prescribed for one child to another child in their care, and 75% reported having leftover prescription medicine at home. The majority (90%) had borrowed or lent on 1–3 occasions. A wide range of medications were borrowed and lent, mainly between immediate family members. Different reasons have been identified for medicine borrowing or lending behaviours, such running out of medicines, having the same medical problem and being in an emergency situation.
Conclusion and relevance The findings are consistent with the literature which support the need for further research into the development of successful approaches or interventions to reduce medication sharing behaviour.1
References and/or acknowledgements 1. Gascoyne A, Beyene K, Stewart J, Aspden T, Sheridan J. Sharing prescription medicines: results of a survey of community pharmacy clients in Auckland, New Zealand. Int J Clin Pharm 2014;36:1268–1276.
No conflict of interest.
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