Guidelines for Implementing Drug Utilization Review Programs in Hospitals
(1997; 58 pages)


This manual has been written as a practical guide for implementing a basic drug utilization review (DUR) program in a hospital setting. The methodology described here could be adapted and applied to outpatient clinics and other institutionalized health care settings as well.

Rational drug use implies an individual approach to patient treatment. Success of treatment largely depends on the ability of a physician to diagnose the major health problem(s) of a patient, select the correct drug, dosage form and route of administration, foresee probable adverse reactions and drug interactions, and prevent unnecessary or dangerous duplication therapy. Further, rational drug use depends on the performance of the pharmacy and nursing departments in preparing and administering drugs.

Implementation of hospital drug formulary systems helps to optimize treatment, make essential drugs available, and control costs of therapy. The drug formulary can be considered the basis of rational drug use. However, the existence of a rationally derived list of drugs approved for procurement and use in a hospital does not ensure that they are prescribed and used correctly. One mechanism to ensure correct prescribing and use is the drug utilization review (DUR) process; although often considered a component of a drug formulary system, DUR programs can exist in the absence of other formulary activities.

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