Objective: In India, where market has thousands of trade name medicines and prescriptions of doctors are usually in illegible handwriting there is high probability of dispensing and medication errors due to look-alike sound-alike (LASA) trade names. This study is an attempt to correlate doctor's handwriting and confusion of trade name to develop a help list of confusing product names.Methodology: A total of 5472 prescriptions presented for dispensing during a period of six months were studied and analyzed to determine and identify the confusing trade names, so as to design a ready made list of such products which will serve as a cautionary reference for avoiding dispensing errors.Findings: Potentially confusing trade name pairs of medicines available in local market of Andhra Pradesh, India were paired out and categorized. A list of 55 pairs of almost identical trade names was compiled, which shall serve as a ready reference for pharmacists while dealing such prescriptions. The list has been arranged alphabetically for ease of reference.Practical implications: It recommends three step audit of prescription before final dispensing to avoid any potential error.Originality/value: This research shall have direct implication on reducing chances of wrong dispensing due to poor/illegible handwriting of doctors.Conclusion: Several trade names are almost identical orthographically or phonologically with very minor difference in spelling but having entirely different pharmacological, therapeutic and toxic effects. Preventing such possible confusion during dispensing of prescription shall have great medical and social value. The help list developed shall serve as a ready reckoner for safe dispensing of prescriptions.
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