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
 

12. Sufficient government expenditure to ensure availability of medicines and staff

Lack of essential medicines leads to the use of non-essential medicines, and lack of appropriately trained personnel leads to irrational prescribing by untrained personnel. Furthermore, without sufficient competent personnel and finances, it is impossible to carry out any of the core components of a national programme to promote rational use of medicines, Poor clinical outcome, needless suffering and economic waste are sufficient reasons for large government investment.

Governments are responsible for investing the necessary funds to ensure that all public health facilities have sufficient, appropriately trained health professionals and enough essential medicines at affordable prices for all the population, with specific provisions for the poor and disadvantaged. Achieving these will require limiting government procurement and supply to essential medicines only, and investing in adequate training, supervision and health staff salaries.

Monitoring medicine use and using the collected information to develop; implement and evaluate strategies to change inappropriate medicine use behaviour are fundamental to any national programme to promote rational use of medicines. A mandated multi-disciplinary national body to coordinate all activities and sufficient government funding are critical to success.

 

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