This study was conducted to assess the drug use patterns at four government hospitals from major cities of Pakistan by using WHO drug use indicators. Results showed that on average, 3.53 drugs were being prescribed per encounter. Percentage of antibiotics prescribed was 69.9% and the use of injection was 34.95%. Only 39.5% drugs were being prescribed by their generic names. Mean consultation time and dispensing time in the four hospitals were 3.64 minutes and 51.91 seconds respectively. Only about73.47% of prescribed drugs was being actually dispensed. On the average, only 3.96% prescriptions were adequately labelled and 54.98% of the patients were found to have adequate knowledge regarding drug dose. Availability of drugs was also not satisfactory though; greater but not all drugs were being prescribed from EDL. The results indicate that there is urgent need for improving rational drug use, availability of drugs and educate the patients about drug use.
Key words: Rational drug use, WHO, Teaching hospitals, Pakistan.