Konduri N, Aboagye-Nyame F, Mabirizi D, Hoppenworth K, Kibria MG, Doumbia S, Williams L, Mazibuko G.Digital health technologies to support access to medicines and pharmaceutical services in the achievement of sustainable development goals. Digit Health. 2018 May 3;4:2055207618771407. doi: 10.1177/2055207618771407.
Digital health technologies to support access to medicines and pharmaceutical services in the achievement of sustainable development goals
Inefficient and irrational use of medicines is a well-documented problem in both developed and developing countries. It leads to cost increases and adverse clinical effects for patients. The inappropriate use of medicine can be reduced if health care professionals involved in the different aspects of medicine use promote good practices for medicine management and use. An appropriate forum for the development and implementation of medicine policies is the Drug and Therapeutics Committee (DTC).
In Mozambique, the establishment of hospital DTCs was officially requested by the Ministério da Saúde (MISAU) (Ministry of Health) in the document The Departamento de Farmacia Hospitalar (DFH) (Department of Hospital Pharmacy) in the Direcção Nacional de Assistência Médica (National Directorate of Medical Assistance) of MISAU also took on the establishment of hospital DTCs as a priority intervention to improve the appropriate use of medicines at the hospital level. SIAPS has provided technical assistance to assist hospitals in establishing DTCs to improve medicine use, and in the collection and analysis of medicine use information for decision making as part of its support to counterparts in the pharmaceutical sector.
The Systems for Improving Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) Program Mozambique has been working with DFH and partners in the pharmaceutical sector and in priority health programs to assist pharmaceutical services in improving the availability of pharmaceutical products and appropriate use at the service delivery points with the aim of achieving desired health outcomes. SIAPS technically assists hospitals to create DTCs to improve medicine use, as well as the collection and analysis of medicine use information for decision-making as part of its support to its counterparts in the pharmaceutical sector.
In August 2013, SIAPS supported the DFH to conduct a two-day DTC orientation workshop. This orientation covered the DTC’s main functions, roles, and responsibilities, as well as how to monitor and identify medicine use problems, and to implement interventions and strategies, including use of standard treatment guidelines (STGs) and essential medicine list, to improve medicine use. During the workshop, the participants presented the status of their hospital DTC, and reviewed Mozambique’s current official DTC’s terms of reference (TOR) and made recommendations for additions and modifications. In addition, with SIAPS technical guidance, the participants conducted a brief study on prescribing indicators in a clinic in Maputo. The study found that more than 60% of patient encounters received an antibiotic. This orientation was attended by 49 health professionals, including physicians, pharmacists, dentists, laboratory technicians, and hospital administrators from the 11 hospital DTCs, the Ministry of Health (MOH), and nongovernmental organizations that support clinical services and supply chain operation.
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