Box 6 Regulatory measures to support rational use
• registration of medicines to ensure that only safe efficacious medicines of good quality are available in the market and that unsafe non-efficacious medicines are banned;
• limiting prescription of medicines by level of prescriber; this includes limiting certain medicines to being available only with a prescription and not available over-the-counter;
• setting educational standards for health professionals and developing and enforcing codes of conduct; this requires the cooperation of the professional societies and universities;
• licensing of health professionals - doctors, nurses, paramedics - to ensure that all practitioners have the necessary competence with regard to diagnosis, prescribing and dispensing;
• licensing of medicine outlets - retail shops, wholesalers - to ensure that all supply outlets maintain the necessary stocking and dispensing standards;
• monitoring and regulating medicine promotion to ensure that it is ethical and unbiased. All promotional claims should be reliable, accurate, truthful, informative, balanced, up-to-date, capable of substantiation and in good taste. WHO's ethical guidelines (1988) may be used as a basis for developing control measures.