How to Develop and Implement a National Drug Policy (Second Edition)
(2001; 96 pages) [French] [Spanish] View the PDF document
Table of Contents
View the documentContributors
View the documentAbbreviations and acronyms
View the documentPreface
Open this folder and view contentsPart I: How to develop and implement a national drug policy
Close this folderPart II: Key components of a national drug policy
Open this folder and view contents4. Selection of essential drugs
Open this folder and view contents5. Affordability
Open this folder and view contents6. Drug financing
Open this folder and view contents7. Supply systems
Open this folder and view contents8. Drug regulation
Close this folder9. Rational use of drugs
View the document9.1 Why is it important to promote rational use?
View the document9.2 Challenges
View the document9.3 Planning for activities to promote rational use of drugs
View the document9.4 Core strategies to improve drug use
View the document9.5 Educational strategies
View the document9.6 Managerial strategies to promote rational drug use
View the document9.7 Regulatory strategies to promote rational drug use
View the document9.8 Promoting rational drug use in the private sector
Open this folder and view contents10. Research
Open this folder and view contents11. Human resources development
Open this folder and view contents12. Monitoring and evaluation
View the documentReferences
View the documentSelected WHO publications and documents of related interest
View the documentBack cover
 

9.1 Why is it important to promote rational use?

All drugs, including essential drugs, can be used irrationally. Irrational use is widespread in both developing and industrialized countries; it occurs in public and private sector health facilities and in the home. Many of the gains of efficient selection, procurement and distribution can be lost by irrational prescribing and by lack of adherence to treatment by the patient.

Irrational drug use has both medical and economic consequences. In medical terms, inappropriate treatment may lead to unnecessary suffering and death, to iatrogenic disease and hospital admissions, and to increased antimicrobial resistance. Irrational drug use also decreases public confidence in the health care system and attendance rates of curative and preventive services. Economically, irrational drug use leads to an enormous waste of resources and to unavailability of essential drugs in other areas where they may be needed.

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