- Medicine Information and Evidence for Policy > Information and Publications
- Medicine Access and Rational Use > Rational Use
(2005; 165 pages)
2. Rational use of medicines
Medicines are used rationally when they are the appropriate treatment for a condition, are used in the right dose, at the right time(s) and for the right duration. Clearly, irrational prescribing, and use of irrational medicines can harm people's health, cause problems in health systems (such as antibiotic resistance) and also waste money.
Although the ideals of rational prescribing appear relatively simple, they are hard to achieve. This chapter explores the reasons why making rational choices about medicines can be problematical. It also describes how the special characteristics of drug bulletins help practitioners make rational decisions, and also make them a fundamental tool for promoting rational use.
Healthcare reforms began in Kyrgyzstan in the mid 1990s, primarily in the pharmaceutical sector. Irrational use of drugs remains a major problem in Kyrgyzstan. Polypharmacy, incorrect use of effective drugs, use of wrong or ineffective drugs and irrational prescribing are the major patterns of inappropriate use of drugs in Kyrgyzstan. Unnecessary injections are used to treat non-specific symptoms such as mild diarrhoea, colds and fatigue. About 50% of the population lacks basic information on the proper use of drugs to combat diseases.
An underlying factor in many aspects of irrational drug use is the lack of access to independent drug information.
Contributed by Saliya Karymbaeva, Drug Bulletin, Kyrgyzstan.