A Scoring System for Selection of Essential Drugs. Essential Drugs Monitor No. 009 (1990)
(1990; 1 page)


A scoring system was created for the selection of drugs for primary health care. The scoring system was based on the criteria similar to those used to compile the World Health Organization Model List of Essential Drugs. Suggested scoring criteria include efficacy, safety, cost for a course of therapy, compliance, multiple use, and SEOALA (storage, ease or administration, and local availability). Drugs are assigned points in each category and are selected based on their score for each criterion and their overall score. Data for scoring drugs can be obtained from textbooks, the British National Formulary, and other reference materials. Based on the overall scores, drugs can be compared and selected for inclusion on an essential drugs list or use in primary health care. The scoring system is flexible and can be adapted to meet the needs of different countries. For example, the cost of a course of therapy could have a maximum point value of five in a very poor country but only a maximum point value of two in a wealthier country. Weighting criteria differently allows each country to select drugs based on the criteria that are the most important to it. The researchers conclude that the system was effectively used in Kenya and could be a valuable tool for other countries. They also believe that a similar system could be created and used by health care providers to determine if a drug should be used for a particular patient. (Abstract by Flannery Bowman, 2013

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