WHO advocates rational use of medicine

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New Delhi, Dec 12 (UNI) The World Health Organisation (WHO) has expressed concern over improper and irrational use of medicines causing a serious public health problem globally and called for improving their usage.

According to a WHO estimate, about half of all medicines are inappropriately prescribed, dispensed and sold. Also, about half of all patients fail to take their medicines properly.

In view of the serious problem, the WHO is organising a three-day meeting on 'The Role of Education in the Rational Use of Medicines' in Bangkok. The meeting, starting today, would strive to share successful experiences in education in promoting the rational use of medicines. It would also discuss and develop a strategic framework for advancing the rational use of medicines through education.

Representatives from consumer groups would try to help formulate a model protocol for educating consumers that can be implemented at the country level. There is also the 3 M issue of 'Medicines Mean Money.' A health care system that removes contrary financial incentives, regulates promotion and monitors prescribing could improve the use of medicines, a WHO release said here today.

The WHO has urged health professionals, societies and associations to play an important role in spreading the message of rational use of medicines. Political leaders, policy makers, planners and bureaucrats must also be involved in strategic planning, initiating activities and providing resources to improve the use of medicines, according to Dr Samlee Plianbangchang, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia Region. He said medicines should not be seen as a chemical but a chemical plus the information for its correct use.

The WHO has emphasised that a concerted effort must be made, using a number of approaches including educational, regulatory, managerial and economic to create awareness about the rational use of medicines.


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