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(1993; 20 pages) [French] [Spanish]
This issue of the Essential Drugs Monitor focuses primarily on rational drug use and national drug policies. The feature article of this newsletter, entitled "Pharmaceutical policy of the Andean sub-region," discusses the creation of common pharmaceutical policies between Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela. Because these nations face common problems such as limited drug supply and high procurement costs, they have come together to coordinate policies. Firstly, these nations aim to promote the use of essential medicines for promoting public health. Secondly, they intend to promote generic drugs as the best commercial option for patients in need of medicine.
Other articles in this volume include a guide for creating joint drug and toxicology centers in developing nations, a feature on the Sri Lankan medical student group Students Involved in Rational Health Activities (SIRHA), and the results of a study on drug use in Bangladesh from November 1992. This issue also features a review of a 1989 study on the risks of using barbiturate compounds and the national policies that have been created to rationalize and control the use of these compounds. The "National Drug Policy" section of the newsletter is devoted to an article on revising the essential drugs list in Kenya. Kenya held two workshops in May 1993 sponsored by the Ministry of Health and Kenya Health Care Financing Project to revise the national essential drugs list. The new list used necessary medicines for common diseases and complaints in the country as a starting point and included generic drugs whenever possible. This issue of the Essential Drugs Monitor also features a letter to the editor regarding widespread irrational drug use by children in Pelotas, Brazil, and a list of recent publications related to the rational use of drugs, epidemiology, and alternative medicines.
Most features in the "Newsdesk" section are related to the rational use of drugs or the appropriate and ethical marketing of pharmaceuticals. For example, new guidelines for diagnosis and drug prescription will be created by various organizations of medical professionals in Spain, and the United States Food and Drug Administration will require Kabi Pharmacia to correct its misleading publicity campaign for osalazine, an ulcerative colitis drug.