Skip to content

Bookmark and Share


Rational Use of Medicine and other Health Technologies

The Conference of Experts on the Rational Use of Drugs, convened by the World Health Organization in Nairobi in 1985, defined rational use as follows: Rational use of drugs requires that patients receive medicines appropriate to their clinical needs, in doses that meet their own individual requirements, for an adequate period of time, and at the lowest cost to them and their community.

What can be done to improve rational use of medicines?

WHO advises countries to implement national programmes to promote rational use of medicines through policies, structures, information and education. These include:

  • a national body to coordinate policies on medicine use and monitor their impact;
  • evidence-based clinical guidelines for training, supervision and supporting decision-making about medicines;
  • lists of essential medicines used for medicine procurement and insurance reimbursement;
  • medicines and therapeutics committees in districts and hospitals to monitor and implement interventions to improve the use of medicines;
  • problem-based training in pharmacotherapy and prescribing in undergraduate curricula;
  • continuing medical education as a requirement of licensure;
  • publicly available independent and unbiased information about medicines for health personnel and consumers;
  • public education about medicines;
  • elimination of financial incentives that lead to improper prescribing, such as prescribers selling medicines for profit to supplement their income;
  • regulations to ensure that promotional activities meet ethical criteria; and
  • adequate funding to ensure availability of medicines and health personnel.
Regional proposal to implement a "National Strategy for Rational Use of Medicines" (only in Spanish)

 

Pharmaceutical Country Profiles

Internships and/or Practicum

-  Evaluation of Medicines utilization and indicators
    Description of duties:
  • Gather, analyze and consolidate information related to medicines selection and utilization in the countries of the Region.
  • Gather, analyze and consolidate information related to the evaluation of physicians’ and pharmacists’ performance indicators.
  • Collaborate with the design and implementation of medicines utilization evaluation.
  • Collaborate in the edition, consolidation and dissemination of documents including web posting.
  • Collaborate in other activities of the team related to the rational use of medicines.
  • Competencies: Management of basic pharmacology/pharmacotherapy concepts, interest in public health and medicines topics, international journals reading and analysis, Microsoft word and PowerPoint management.
    Academic level: Any Health science degree.
    Language: Basic Spanish writing and speaking.
    Duration: 4 to 8 months.

-  Medicines information and safety
    Description of duties:
  • Collaborate with the activities of the working group of Pharmacovigilance of the PANDRH network.
  • Collaborate with the activities of the regional network of medicines information centers.
  • Collaborate in the edition, consolidation and dissemination of documents including web posting.
  • Competencies: Interest in pharmaceutical education. Basic communications skills. Basic experience in human resources approach. Microsoft word and PowerPoint Management.
    Academic level: University graduate or last year in College.
    Language: Basic knowledge of Spanish (writing and speaking).
    Duration: 4 to 8 months.

-  Pharmaceutical Education
    Description of duties:
  • Collaborate with the activities of the working groups of the Pan American Conference of Pharmaceutical Education.
  • Collaborate in the edition, consolidation and dissemination of documents including web posting.
  • Competencies: Interest in pharmaceutical education. Basic communications skills. Basic experience in human resources approach. Microsoft word and PowerPoint Management.
    Academic level: University graduate or last year in College.
    Language: Very good knowledge of Spanish (writing and speaking).
    Duration: 4 to 8 months.

Links of interest for RUM

- URM country links

WHO Resolutions related to RUM

Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization
525 Twenty-third Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20037, United States of America
Tel.: +1 (202) 974-3000 Fax: +1 (202) 974-3663

© Pan American Health Organization. All rights reserved.