Irrational medicine use and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) are considered by WHO as extremely serious global problems. Approximately 50% of all medicines are used incorrectly. Various factors, including health providers, consumers, and weak health systems, contribute to this problem.
The correct application of pharmaceutical services can put an end to such issues. They include all services rendered by pharmaceutical staff to support the provision of patient care and treatment, including:
- Providing medicine information and counseling in support of prescribing and dispensing practices
- Monitoring medicine use to ensure patient safety
- Formulating policies and regulation
- Distributing information and informative materials to promote public health
- Educating and training staff
To support USAID’s leadership in this area, SIAPS helped countries increase treatment effectiveness to achieve desired health outcomes. The program built on the USAID-funded Strengthening Pharmaceutical Systems (SPS) Program’s experiences and focused on improving medicine use and containing AMR. Specifically, SIAPS worked to improve medication adherence, standard treatment guidelines, formularies and clinical algorithms, essential medicines lists, facility and community-based case management, medicine and therapeutics information, and infection control.
The program also worked to build the capacity of countries, program managers, and local partners to regularly update standard treatment guidelines and essential medicines lists; support drug use evaluation studies that identify irrational practices and inform the design of effective corrective interventions; establish pharmaceutical care programs; advocate for the containment of AMR; and use information, education, and behavior change approaches for consumer education.
SIAPS worked with Ministries of Health, health facilities, and community stakeholders to promote and support interventions at the global, regional, national, and local levels, paying careful attention to promote the transfer of capacity to local partners and strengthen broader health-systems.
SIAPS used several key strategies to help implement its work in pharmaceutical services, including: