Availability of antifungal eye drops in hospital and private retail pharmacies: a survey conducted in Kumasi, Ghana
Keywords:Endophthalmitis, Fluconazole eye drops, Keratomycosis, Natamycin eye drops
Background: Effective treatment of oculomycosis involves the use of antifungal eye drops in addition to systemic antifungal medications. The aim of this study therefore was to ascertain the availability of antifungal eye drops in hospital and private retail pharmacies in Kumasi, in the Ashanti Region of Ghana.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey using a structured questionnaire to obtain information on stocking of antifungal eye drops was administered to workers in 99 randomly selected pharmacies in Kumasi between January-June, 2015.
Results: Respondents sampled from the pharmacies were: Pharmacists (37.4%), Medicine counter assistants (36.4%), and Pharmacy technicians (26.3%). Although none of the pharmacies visited had antifungal eye drops (AEDs) in stock, 25 (25.3%) had stocked these before; 18 (72%) stocked fluconazole while 7 (28%) stocked natamycin (17 (68%) indicated fluconazole to be the most patronised). The stocking pattern was not regular as 16 (64%) only stocked on demand. 51.5% the acquired AEDs from local importers of pharmaceutical medicines while 48.5% imported them by themselves. For the 74 (73.7%) pharmacies that did not stock, 60 (80.8%) indicated that AEDs were not NHIS-approved medicines, 51 (68.9%) indicated unavailability from wholesalers to stock, and another 27 (36.4%) indicated that prescriptions were rarely received at the pharmacies. Majority 71.7% of the respondents perceived AEDs to be scarce in Ghana.Conclusions: Antifungal eye drops are unavailable in hospital and private retail pharmacies in Kumasi, and is perceived to be scarce in Ghana.