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

8. Independent medicine information

Often, the only information about medicines that practitioners receive is provided by the pharmaceutical industry and may be biased. Provision of independent (unbiased) information is therefore essential. Drug information centres (DICs) and drug bulletins are two useful ways to disseminate such information. Both may be run by government or a university teaching hospital or a nongovernmental organization, under the supervision of a trained health professional, Whoever runs the DIC or bulletin must (1) be independent of outside influences and disclose any financial or other conflict of interest, and (2) use evidence-based medicine and transparent deduction for all recommendations made. The WHO Model Formulary provides independent information on all medicines in the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines.

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