MOPH issues policy for hospitals to promote appropriate medicine use

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BANGKOK, 31 October 2014 – The Ministry of Public Health is issuing a policy for hospitals to promote appropriate use of medicines, to improve safety for patients.

According to Dr. Surachet Sathitniramai, deputy permanent secretary of the Ministry of Public Health, the World Health Organization has found that 50% of medication used is inappropriate; patients are subjected to unnecessary side effect risks in addition to direct effects of the drugs. Inappropriate use also constitutes wasteful spending on unnecessary medicines. In the case of Thailand, 144.5 billion baht is spent on medicines each year.

The new policy calls for hospitals to promote reasonable use of medicines by working with the Pharmacy and Therapeutic Committee, raising public awareness of drug information and drug labels, providing hospitals with tools necessary for ensuring appropriate drug use, reinforcing the conscience of medical personnel and patients, ensuring safety for special populations, and reinforcing ethics related to prescription of medicines.

The Ministry of Public Health has signed a collaboration agreement with eight other agencies to promote this policy at hospitals. The aim is to increase consumer safety, increase efficiency of drug use and reduce the time an individual remains on medication.