Doctors prescribe medications for therapeutic indications and to meet patient expectations. Understanding the pattern of prescribing is a necessary precursor for any intervention and for improving prescribing practices. Using the WHO standard methodology, we investigated the prescribing practices of doctors in rural primary health care (PHC) clinics in the Ferghana region of Uzbekistan. Doctors in these clinics may have over-prescribed, prescribing 2.9 drugs per patient per encounter. Fifty-seven per cent of these were for injectable drugs, and 57% for antibiotics. Most prescriptions were for name brand (62%) rather than generic drugs.