Tijdschrift voor geneeskunde vol:63 issue:22 pages:1119-1124
Competence and interprofessional consultation: prerequisites for rational use of medicines.
The use of medicines has increased dramatically over the last decades. One of the major challenges for both health care professionals and governments remains to ensure that they are used rationally. Physicians and pharmacists share the task to make effective treatments possible which are adapted to the clinical needs as well as safe and at a reasonable price. The new legislation concerning pharmaceutical care creates for Belgian pharmacists a definite responsibility to achieve this goal. Although the legislation also invigorates the importance of an inter-professional dialogue, the reunions are not yet structured and still depend on personal initiatives.
The overall strategies which may be used by governments to enhance a rational use of medicines imply education, policy and issuing rules. Ideally, some of these interventions are combined to reinforce their impact. Both on the level of the individual patient as of the government, the scientific evidence and the discussion between all parties concerned are essential to ensure that medicines are used rationally. This requires skillfull health care professionals, capable to take the lead in the development of optimal patient care.
This article develops the concepts of a rational use of medicines, and indicates the consequences of an inappropriate drug therapy. It details the role of the individual health care providers and demonstrates the importance of an inter-professional dialogue. Finally, it deals with strategies which can be used by governments to promote a rational use of medicines, and reports the concept and evaluation of a post-academic training session concerning the rational use of drugs.