(1998; 49 pages) [French] [Spanish]
3.1 Therapeutic efficiency in drug selection and use
Therapeutic efficiency, which stems from the appropriate choice and use of drugs with proven safety and effectiveness, is key to the achievement of pharmaceutical policy objectives and should lead to greater economic efficiencies in the health sector through the elimination of waste. However the reverse is not necessarily true.
Changes in the health sector, including those associated with competition and economic incentives in the private sector, can lead to improved flexibility and managerial efficiency, but may also provide economic incentives for irrational prescribing and drug use.
Any effort to improve the affordability, availability, and quality of drugs - be it in the public or private sector - should be accompanied by sustained efforts to improve the rational use of drugs. These measures are varied and include, but are not limited to, public and patient education, development of school curricula on rational use, and prescriber training.
Because the achievement of public health goals requires therapeutic efficiency, it is the responsibility of the government to ensure that rational drug use is promoted regardless of the mechanisms selected for financing and providing drugs.