Spotlight Series: Rational Use of Medicine

PAHO/WHO Collaborating Centre Spotlight Series 

Reference Number: ARG-30

Official Title: PAHO/WHO CC on the Rational Use of Medicines
Institution: Centre for Pharmacology, School of Medicine, National University of La Plata

Health System

Category 4 (SP 14-19)

Outcome 5, 8, 12, 21 (SP 20-25)

Dr. Castro

Dr. José Luis Castro, Advisor, Rational Use of Medicines, is the PAHO staff member who acts as the Region’s focal point to coordinate the collaboration between the institution and the Organization.

The main activities of the Centre include: (1) updating essential medicines lists; (2) providing training on evaluation and selection of medications; (3) developing and implementing indicators for the evaluation of use in services; (4) developing a news bulletin on medicines; and (5) conducting medicine utilization research.

The Centre at the National University of La Plata supports PAHO in updating the list of essential medicine for Member States in the Region. The Centre collaborates with PAHO to contact the focal point of the Member State to request a list of current medicines available in the country, creates a plan of action and afterwards proposes an updated list of essential medicines. The Centre also provides training on the evaluation and selection of medications using the Manual for Pharmaceutical Committees. During the last designation period, the Centre conducted two regional online trainings with over 70 participants and 14 national in-person trainings. The Centre is also involved in the development and implementation of indicators for the evaluation of use in services. Specifically, PAHO extracted indicators for global use to evaluate use of medication related to diabetes, chronic pain, hypertension. These indicators were tested in Costa Rica, Cuba, Mexico and Paraguay (final report in process). The Centre collaborates in the development of a bulletin with three networks (Network of Pharmacotherapy Committees, Network of Pharmacovigilance, and the Network of Medicines Information Centers) on the independent information about medicines. In terms of research, the Centre conducts medicine utilization research including a study reviewing the use of diazepam in Member States (in process).

Webnotes such as these serve to inform how Collaborating Centres are contributing to the Organization’s priorities and mandates.