Irrational medicine use and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) are considered by the WHO as extremely serious global problems. About 50% of all medicines are used incorrectly. Various factors such as 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 such as –
- Providing medicine information and counseling in support of prescribing and dispensing practices,
- Monitoring medicine use to assure patient safety,
- Formulating policies and regulation,
- Distributing information and informative materials to promote public health, and
- Educating and training staff.
To support USAID’s leadership in this area, SIAPS helps countries increase treatment effectiveness to achieve desired health outcomes. The program builds on the USAID-funded Strengthening Pharmaceutical Systems (SPS) Program experiences and focuses on improving medicines use and containing AMR. Specifically, SIAPS works on improving medication adherence, standard treatment guidelines, formularies and clinical algorithms, essential medicine lists, facility and community-based case management, medicine and therapeutics information, and infection control.
The program also works on building capacity of countries, program managers and local partners to regularly update standard treatment guidelines and essential medicine lists, supporting drug use evaluation studies that identify irrational practices and inform the design of effective corrective interventions, establishing pharmaceutical care programs, advocating for the containment of AMR, and using information, education, and behavior change approaches for consumer education.
SIAPS works with ministries of health, health facilities and community stakeholders to promote and support interventions at the global, regional, national and local levels, paying deliberate attention to promote the transfer of capacity to local partners, and strengthening of broader health-systems.
SIAPS uses several key strategies to help implement its work in pharmaceutical services which include: