(1994; 60 pages)
1. The Group endorsed the recommendations of the first World Health Organization meeting on the pharmacist in health care (1990) which identifies the various roles of the pharmacist and the relevant educational and manpower requirements.
2. This report focuses on the responsibilities of the pharmacist to the healthcare needs of the patient and of the community, i.e. the concept of pharmaceutical care.
3. Fundamental differences are acknowledged to exist in healthcare delivery systems from country to country. However, the concept of pharmaceutical care which is considered to have relevance in every country, notwithstanding differences in socio-economic conditions development.
4. Socio-economic factors have a major effect on healthcare delivery, the rational use of drugs, and the development of pharmaceutical care. (See table 1). Wherever populations are aging, the prevalence of chronic disease is increasing, and the range of medications is broadening, drug therapy has become the most frequently used form of medical intervention in every practice setting. While appropriate drug therapy is indispensable to safe and cost-effective healthcare, the consequences of inappropriate drug therapy, both for patients and society in general, are considerable. Means of assuring rational and cost-effective use of drugs are needed in all countries regardless of their level of development. Pharmacists have a key role to play in meeting the needs of the individual and of society in this connection.
Factors Affecting Health Care Delivery, the Rational Use of Drugs and the Development of Pharmaceutical Care
Vulnerable paediatric populations
Changes in disease patterns/epidemiology
Geographic distribution of populations
Increased costs of healthcare
National and global economics
The increasing gap between affluent and poor
Development of new drugs
New information delivery techniques and new information about existing drugs
More complex and potent drugs
Consumer expectations and involvement
Use of traditional medicines
Priorities in use of national resources (allocation to health)
Changing market philosophies
Policy makers’ understanding of pharmacy
National drug policies; Essential Drug Lists
Variations in education/training of pharmacists
Pharmacy personnel distribution
Evolving philosophy towards patient care in pharmacy
Basis of remuneration of pharmacists
Access to health care
More treatment of severe illness outside hospitals