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Between 2018-2019, 12% rise in the proportion of Pakistanis who report taking prescription medicines (Gallup & Gilani Pakistan Poll)


Islamabad, June 02, 2020

In a Gallup & Gilani Pakistan National Survey conducted in the year 2018, respondents were asked “How often do you take prescription medicines?” In response 23% said never, 22% occasionally, 21% said sometimes, 20% said fairly often and 6% said very often.

Comparative Picture: This question was asked again in 2019 to enable a comparison to be made across the years. In 2019, 26% said never, 16% occasionally, 20% said sometimes, 19% said fairly often and 19% said very often.

Trend Analysis: In 2018, only 26% Pakistanis reported taking prescription medicines very often or fairly often while in 2019 38% respondents reported taking prescription medicines very/ fairly often. 

Implication of this Finding: A fairly high proportion of Pakistanis reported never or only sometimes/occasionally taking prescription medicines. It should be kept in mind that since prescriptions for purchase for several medicines including antibiotics is not mandatory at pharmacies, many Pakistanis often self-medicate themselves.

This press release has been made as part of the Gallup Pakistan History Project which aims to release historical empirical polling data to wider audiences. The objective is to sustain and encourage empirical decision making in Pakistan.