A survey of outpatient prescriptions in three district hospitals, four health centres, and ten dispensaries in Dar es Salaam region has been undertaken, and the significance of the data especially as it relates to prescribing patterns is discussed. The data indicate that the average number of items (drugs) per prescription in hospitals, health centres, and dispensaries was 2.4 +/- 0.16, 2.1 +/- 0.5, and 1.9 +/- 0.2 (+/- SD) respectively, while injections accounted for 18, 20, and 32 percent of all prescriptions in hospitals, health centres and dispensaries respectively. On the other hand, antibiotics accounted for 40, 35 and 36 percent of all prescriptions in hospitals, health centres and dispensaries respectively. Generic prescribing was very high in all health facilities and accounted for approximately 80% of all prescriptions. Prescriptions containing fixed drug combinations were not common.