Essential Drugs Monitor No. 015 (1993)
(1993; 20 pages) [French] [Spanish]


Edition 15 of the Essential Drugs Monitor contains a variety of articles. The general topic of this edition is national drug policy, as many articles feature recent policy decisions in specific countries. The two feature articles of this edition focus on recent developments with respect to the national drug policy of Bangladesh and Australia. Bangladesh has been working since 1982 to push back opposition from sectors that were initially uninvolved in the decision making process to form a National Drug Policy and Drugs Control Ordinance. Only eight experts formulated the policy in the hopes that confidentiality would reduce backlash. Progress has been made despite opposition, but in the future the involvement of all interested parties is recommended. Australia’s policy made waves in the developed world due to the recent creation of a multidisciplinary branch called the Pharmaceutical Health and Rational Use of Medicines (PHARM) Working Group. This is comprised of industry, government, consumer and health professional experts, which creates a new opportunity for dialogue between sectors to discuss and solve problems through the sharing of different perspectives, knowledge and interests. PHARM created a policy on the quality use of medicines that was adopted by the Australian government in 1992, and the article outlines other policy measures developed. They include initiatives focusing on education and training, consumer services, provider services and education campaigns.

Pakistan and the Baltic States are both mentioned in this edition for establishing rational drug use programmes. Two other articles focus on maternal health topics, one explains new findings on how the storage of preventative post-partum hemorrhage drugs can affect their effectiveness, and the other details a public education plan that would help mothers better care for children with diarrhea. The Newsdesk features a short article also on diarrheal diseases, specifically regarding the American efforts to ban or relabel a few drugs the WHO recently deemed ineffective and potentially harmful to children. In an interview with Professor J.C. Petrie, the basic theory of rational prescription in the United Kingdom and the essential drugs concept are discussed. An article by Andrew Herxheimer focuses on the need for a more streamlined information cascade. This issue finishes with a short article on vaccine supply, specifically the recent problems with funding and supply due to the increase in demand for vaccinations.

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