Exploring Self-medication Behavior among Clients of Pharmacies in Kerman Province of Iran

Mahla Iranmanesh1, Maryam Aliramezany2, *, Farzaneh Yousefi3, Mohammad Hossein Iranmanesh4
1 Health Service Management, Health Services Management Research Center, Institute for Futures Studies in Health, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran
2 Cardiovascular Research Center, Institute of Basic and Clinical Physiology Sciences, Kerman University of Medical Sciences Kerman, Iran
3 Department of Health Management, Policy, and Economics, Faculty of Management and Medical Information Sciences, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran
4 Health Services Management, Azad university, Marvadasht Branch, Marvdasht Iran

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© 2023 Iranmanesh et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Cardiovascular Research Center, Institute of Basic and Clinical Physiology Sciences, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Shafa hospital, Kowsar Blvd, Kerman, Iran; E-mail:



Self-medication is considered as one of the biggest social, health, and economic problems in different societies, including Iran. Statistics show that medicine intake in Iran is not consistent with the population and the epidemiological status. So, it can be argued that the high rate of medicine use in Iran is partly attributable to self-medication.


We aimed to explore and analyze self-medication behavior among clients of pharmacies in Kerman province of Iran.


This is a qualitative study in which 32 participants were interviewed using the exit poll survey approach. Interviews were conducted with people who purchased medicines without doctors’ prescriptions. Data were analyzed using conventional content analysis.


Three main categories of patient-related factors, physician-related factors and pharmacy-related factors were explored. These categories also had several subcategories, including easy access to medication and lack of trust in physicians. Among these categories, the most important cause of self-medication was related to the category of patient-related factors and its subcategory of easy access to medication.


Considering the multidimensional nature of self-medication in Iran, which is influenced by a set of economic and cultural factors, as well as weakness in enforcing laws and regulations, overcoming this problem requires short-term and long-term inter-sectoral coordination, which should be carefully considered by health policymakers.

Keywords: Pharmacies, Self-medication, Qualitative, Health, Behaviour, Treatment.