[ Pharmaceutical Sciences Asia - ONLINE ]
Print ISSN 2586-8195 E-ISSN 2586-8470
[ Journal Abbreviation: Pharm.Sci.Asia ]
Mahidol University Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
  FORMER NAME   "Mahidol University Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences" Published Since 1974


Pharm Sci Asia ; 36(1),

Extent of Medication Wastage and Cost among Female Students in a University Setting

S. E. Ali and M. I. M. Ibrahim*


Medicine wastage poses a significant health problem. Unused medication endangers human life and health, results in non-optimal utilization of resources and causes considerable loss of money. Due to these issues, a study was conducted to identify the extent of medicine wastage in a university campus, the cost and to examine the behaviours of the students as drugs consumers that contribute to such wastage. A prospective descriptive, cross-sectional survey was conducted from February to June 2005 in the Universiti Sains Malaysia main campus among female students (undergraduates and postgraduates). A total of 481 single female respondents were targeted for a questionnaire-based survey on randomly sampled students. Data was analyzed by using descriptive and non-parametric statistics. Results showed that the total number of medicines found was 1724 different types of medicines. The average number of medicines found per student was 4 medicines with an estimated average cost of RM23.94 per student. The total cost of all left over medicines found was estimated to be RM11,515.40, while the original cost of all medicines supplied based on pharmacy retail price was RM24, 294.84, hence an estimated of 47.41% cost of supplied medicines were wasted. It was revealed that vitamins & minerals (24.8%) were of the highest number and costs followed by gastrointestinal tract drugs (17.3%) and analgesic & antipyretics (17.0%). Common reason for unused medicine was ‘just stop taking medicines’ (89.8%). In conclusion, the study found that female students in USM main campus kept a total of RM11,515.4 worth of medication that were not consumed. The study proposed that education and awareness programs should be implemented among university students.


Social-behavioural, survey, female students, Universiti Sains Malaysia, USM, Medication Wastage, Cost

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