Guide to Good Prescribing: A Practical Manual
WHO/DAP/94.11
Document produced by the WHO Division of Essential Drugs
Technical Units
ISBN-13    9789241597616 ISBN-10    9241597615
Order Number    19300074
Price    CHF    15.00 / US$    18.00 Developing countries:    CHF    10.50
English     1994        110   pages
Summary
A spiral-bound training manual offering a step-by-step guide to the process of rational, responsible prescribing. Addressed to undergraduate medical students who are about to enter the clinical phase of their studies, the manual aims to help students acquire the skills and confidence needed to exercise independent judgement and make their own decisions about which drugs or non-drug treatments are best for each individual patient. Throughout, numerous practical exercises and examples of patients and their complaints are used to help tie advice to the realities of a doctor's daily practice.
Patient- rather than drug-oriented, and designed to teach lifetime skills rather than time-limited knowledge of facts, it explains how to select an individual list of essential drugs, called personal or "P-drugs", using the criteria of efficacy, safety, suitability and cost. Carefully selected, these are the drugs which a doctor will prescribe in daily practice, and gets to know thoroughly - with obvious benefits to the patient. The manual also provides the tools to understand and best use available national and other treatment guidelines.
The manual, which is enlivened with illustrations, charts, tables, checklists and occasional humour, has four parts. The first presents an overview of the logical, systematic prescribing process. A simple example of a taxi driver with a cough is followed by an analysis of the many factors considered when solving the patient's problem and choosing a treatment. Part 2, which introduces the concept of personal drugs, explains how to select drugs and use them in daily practice. Chapters use the example of angina pectoris to describe the five steps involved in the rational selection of personal drugs.
The most extensive part describes each of six steps involved in treating individual patients with P-drugs, moving from a definition of the patient's problem and therapeutic objective, through verification of the suitability of the P-drug, to writing a prescription, making the patient a partner in therapy through effective communication, and monitoring or stopping the treatment. The final part, on keeping up-to-date, offers practical tips and advice on how to acquire and judge new information about drugs, including information provided by the pharmaceutical industry.
The manual enjoys wide use in the medical schools of several countries and can also be used for self-study.