Review of the use of defined daily dose concept in drug utilisation research in China


L. Teng, Department of Drug Policy and Management, The University of Tokyo, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences. E-mail:



This study aimed to understand the characteristics of drug utilisation researches (DURs) using concepts of defined daily dose in China and to provide further suggestion for future DURs in China.


DURs using concepts of defined daily dose published in China were identified from China Journal Full-text Database, and in-depth data analysis was conducted for DURs published in every even-numbered year.


In total, 2,911 DURs published between 1989 and 2009 were identified, of which 1,268 were included for further data analysis. All studies were hospital-based. Types of drugs commonly assessed in DURs were Anti-infectives for systemic use (34.1%), drugs for Nervous system (25.5%) and drugs for Alimentary tract and metabolism (14.3%). In addition, 63 DURs published in even-numbered year focusing on Chinese Herbal Medicine (CHM) were identified. Commonly used sources of defined dose were Xin Bian Yao Wu Xue/New Materia Medica (83.9%), drug information leaflets (66.8%) and Chinese Pharmacopoeia (52.0%). Common indicators used in DURs include defined daily doses (DDDs), drug utilisation index (DUI) and daily dose cost (DDC).


DUR is a popular method to explore the use of both pharmaceutical drugs and CHM in China. The definition of defined daily dose and its related indicators presented in the DURs were highly varied. From this, it follows that DURs with more consistent methodology are highly needed for a thorough understanding of drug utilisation in China. Apart from DURs focusing on the hospital setting, more DURs from other health settings are needed. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.