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

6. Continuing in-service medical education as a licensure requirement

Continuing in-service medical education (CME) is a requirement for licensure of health professionals in many industrialized countries, In many developing countries opportunities for CME are limited and there is also no incentive since it is not required for continued licensure. CME is likely to be more effective if it is problem-based, targeted, involves professional societies, universities and the ministry of health, and is face-to-face. Printed materials that are unaccompanied by face-to-face interventions, have been found to be ineffective in changing prescribing behaviour. CME need not be limited only to professional medical or paramedical personnel, but may also include people in the informal sector such as medicine retailers. Often CME activities are heavily dependent on the support of pharmaceutical companies, as public funds are insufficient. This type of CME may not be unbiased. Governments should therefore support efforts by university departments and national professional associations to give independent CME.

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