Drug Safety - a Global Partnership. Essential Drugs Monitor No. 007 (1988)
(1988; 1 page)


In an article published in the seventh Essential Drugs Monitor, Dr. M. N. G. Dukes, Regional Officer for Pharmaceuticals and Drug Utilization at the WHO Regional Office for Europe, stressed the need to prioritize drug safety. Studies in industrialized countries show that drug-related injuries occur with some frequency. Dukes understands that not all cases of drug injury can be prevented, but still believes drug use can be made safer. In his article, he outlined several steps toward safer drug use. First, outdated drugs should be removed from supply because their risks outweigh the value. Second, countries and national agencies should consult the WHO Model List of Essential Drugs when determining if a drug is safe and effective enough to use. The majority of drugs on the Model List are available as low-cost, quality-controlled generic medicines. Third, rational drug use must be ensured. Taking drugs appropriately is as important as assuring the purity and effectiveness of the drug itself. Dukes suggested using seminars as a tool to promote rational use. Dukes asserted that governments and medical professionals must collaborate to improve drug safety. Pharmacists and patients must also be brought into the discussion because of the active roles both groups take in assuring drug safety. (Abstract by Flannery Bowman, 2013)

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