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Rational Use of Medicine

The irrational use of medicines is a major problem worldwide. WHO (2004) estimates that more than half of all medicines are prescribed, dispensed or sold inappropriately, and that half of all patients fail to take them correctly. The over-use, under-use or misuse of medicines results in wastage of scarce resources and widespread health hazards.
Some examples of the irrational use of medicines are,

  •  the use of too many medicines per patient (poly-pharmacy)
  • the inappropriate use of antimicrobials/antibiotics, often in inadequate dosage and for non-bacterial infections
  • the over-use of injections when oral formulations would be more suitable
  • iinappropriate self-medication, often of prescription-only medicines
  •  the non-adherence to dosing regimes

Often, the irrational use of medicines is the outcome of inappropriate promotion and advertising by pharmaceutical companies. In addition, irrational use is costly to both consumers and governments. It is also extremely harmful to human beings as a whole.

Rational Use of Medicine
1 Stakeholders Discuss Access and Rational Use of Medicines in Sub-Saharan Africa
Medicine Promotion
1 Stakeholders Discuss Access and Rational Use of Medicines in Sub-Saharan Africa
2 Unethical pharmaceutical promotion rampant in African countries
WHA Resolution on RUM
1 Calling on World Health Assembly to Save Lives and Money!

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Contact Information

Health Action International (HAI) Africa Office
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P.O Box Nairobi - Kenya
Tel: +254 20 2692973 ext 108, Cell phone: + 254 0733 398654.
E-mail:info@haiafrica.org, Web:http:// www.haiafrica.org