(1993; 1 page)
There is a new project in Latvia to address the shortage in drugs by increasing the availability of independent drug information and raising awareness of rational use for prescribers and users. The project also aims to increase use of the WHO essential medicines list concept. Health Action International (HAI) Network from the Baltic States, HAI European Coordinating Office, Latvian Academy of Medicine, and Foundation Remedia are the partners in this project. High inflation after transitioning to a free market economy affected the use of drugs, availability of drug information and drug regulation. Latvia was left with a list of 3,000 licensed drugs with little additional information. The list is still being reviewed. Latvia created an essential medicines list as a guide for pharmacies to build up their stock, but it is not widely followed. To address the problem of high drug prices, certain populations’ drugs are provided by hospitals and donations are distributed to others. Guidelines on drug donation have been translated to Latvian to reduce the problem of expired or inappropriate drug donation. The Baltic Update newsletter gives project developments, meeting details and information on related publications.
Abstract written by M. Tobin, 2013.