Promoting Rational Use of Medicines. Contact N°183 - Autumn/Winter 2006
(2006; 32 pages)

Abstract

The proportion of national health budgets spent on medicines ranges between 10% and 20% in developed countries and between 20% and 40% in developing countries Rational use of medicines requires that "patients receive medications appropriate to their clinical needs, in doses that meet their own individual requirements, for an adequate period of time, and at the lowest cost to them and their community."

More than 50% of all medicines worldwide are prescribed, dispensed, or sold inappropriately and 50% of patients fail to take them correctly.2 Conversely, about one-third of the world’s population lacks access to essential medicines. Treatment with medicines is one of the most cost-effective medical interventions known, and the proportion of national health budgets spent on medicines ranges between 10% and 20% in developed countries and between 20% and 40% in developing countries. Thus, it is extremely serious that so much medicine is being used in an inappropriate and irrational way.

 
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