Promoting Rational Use of Medicines: Core Components - WHO Policy Perspectives on Medicines, No. 005, September 2002
(2002; 6 pages) [French] [Spanish] View the PDF document
Table of Contents
View the documentDefinition of rational use of medicines
View the documentThe problem of irrational use
View the documentAssessing the problem of irrational use
View the documentWorking towards rational use of medicines
Close this folderCore policies to promote more rational use of medicines
View the document1. A mandated multi-disciplinary national body to coordinate medicine use policies
View the document2. Clinical guidelines
View the document3. Essential medicines list based on treatments of choice
View the document4. Drugs and therapeutics committees in districts and hospitals
View the document5. Problem-based training in pharmacotherapy in undergraduate curricula
View the document6. Continuing in-service medical education as a licensure requirement
View the document7. Supervision, audit and feedback
View the document8. Independent medicine information
View the document9. Public education about medicines
View the document10. Avoidance of perverse financial incentives
View the document11. Appropriate and enforced regulation
View the document12. Sufficient government expenditure to ensure availability of medicines and staff
View the documentKey documents
View the documentContacts at WHO Headquarters

1. A mandated multi-disciplinary national body to coordinate medicine use policies

Many societal and health system factors, as well as professionals and many others, contribute to how medicines are used, Therefore, a multi-disciplinary approach is needed to develop, implement and evaluate interventions to promote more rational use of medicines. A national regulatory authority (RA) is the agency that develops and implements most of the legislation and regulation on pharmaceuticals, Ensuring rational use will require many additional activities which will need coordination with many stakeholders, Thus a national body is needed to coordinate policy and strategies at national level, in both the public and private sectors, The form this body takes may vary with the country, but in all cases it should involve government (ministry of health), the health professions, academia, the RA, pharmaceutical industry, consumer groups and non-governmental organizations involved in health care, The impact on medicine use is better if many interventions are implemented together in a coordinated way, single interventions often having little impact.

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