The need for human resources development
Implementing a national drug policy and achieving its objectives depend on people. They will implement the policy only if they understand its rationale and objectives, when they are trained to do their jobs well, paid adequate wages, and motivated to maintain high standards. Development and implementation of a drug policy require highly qualified and experienced professionals, including policy-makers, doctors, pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, clinical pharmacologists, paramedical staff, economists and researchers. Lack of appropriate expertise has been a decisive factor in the failure of some countries to achieve the objectives of their national drug policy.
Human resources development includes the policies and strategies chosen to ensure that there are enough trained and motivated personnel to implement the national drug policy effectively.
Managing human resources well is a complex task and various constraints have to be anticipated and overcome. The major challenges are making sure that the right staff are trained and available, retaining staff, and keeping them motivated and up to date. Common problems include:
• a lack of qualified staff in the pharmaceutical sector to carry out the main tasks necessary for the implementation of different aspects of the drug policy, and especially an overall lack of trained pharmacists and pharmacy assistants in most developing countries;
• difficulties in financing the costs of the necessary personnel in the public sector;
• trained personnel leaving for better-paid jobs in the private sector or abroad;
• difficulties in keeping staff motivated and maintaining the quality of their work because of limited career prospects;
• the need to keep personnel up to date with new developments and to ensure that they maintain their skills.