Irrational medicine use and poor pharmaceutical management at all levels are widespread problems in many developing countries, including Sierra Leone. Misuse, underuse, and overuse of medicines; weak systems that compromise medicine safety; the waste of scarce resources due to expiry; and the rise of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) are particularly worrying because they directly affect health outcomes. Because of a lack of sound data for decision making, health workers may need to select products for medicines lists, supply, and prescribing based on observation and preferences. SIAPS is facilitating the selection of appropriate, safe products to be procured and used at different levels of the public health system. Promoting rational medicine use cuts down on waste, improves health outcomes, and helps prevent the spread of AMR.
Supporting drug and therapeutics committees in Sierra Leone to promote safe, appropriate medicine use
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.
Technical Brief: Strengthening Drug and Therapeutics Committees to Promote Rational Medicine Use in Mozambique
Mozambique is one of the poorest countries in the world, with approximately 70% of the population living below the poverty line. Many women and children are unable to access essential health services and medicine due to inadequate geographic coverage, financing, and available health professionals. Neonatal mortality is 30 deaths per 1,000, and under-five mortality is 90/1,000. Malaria accounts for approximately 26% of hospital deaths. Dual infections of tuberculosis (TB) and HIV and the threat of increasing multidrug-resistant TB complicate the national TB program response. To support priority programs such as HIV prevention and treatment and maternal and child health, Mozambique’s Ministry of Health and SIAPS are establishing Drug and Therapeutics Committees (DTCs) and training committee members to improve medicine management and use, thereby helping to achieve good health outcomes.
The Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) Program has designed and implemented a certificate course to ensure the strengthening and sustainability of rational medicine use in the Dominican Republic. Universidad Central del Este (UCE) conducted the first course to thirty-two students in mid-2016 and shall conduct a second course in the last quarter of 2016 with technical assistance from the SIAPS Program and USAID funding. Personnel of the Dominican regulatory agency, members of pharmacy and therapeutics committees, and hospital opinion-leading prescribers were among the pioneer students who successfully completed the course in June 2016. As part of the Dominican government’s measures to promote the rational use of medicines, registration fees shall be subsidized for the subsequent cohorts of students until a critical mass of qualified professionals is reached. In 2010, the Dominican Republic’s Ministry of Public Health established the management system for drugs and medical supplies (SUGEMI) with assistance of the SIAPS Program financed by USAID. SUGEMI’s impact on access to medicines is dependent upon two factors: efficient supply chain and rational use of available medicines. The SIAPS’ certificate course is aimed at improving the latter.
SIAPS Presents on OSPSANTE and OSPSIDA at WHO Francophone Technical Briefing Seminar on Medicine Policy 2016
The World Health Organization Department of Essential Medicines and Health Products invited SIAPS to participate in its annual French Technical Briefing Seminar, held 9-13 May, in Geneva, Switzerland. The seminar, held every year since 1998, brings together experts working in the pharmaceutical and health sector programs in francophone countries, around current and topical issues related […]
Joshi MP. Containing antimicrobial resistance to realize the goals of universal health coverage. Oral presentation at the Ecumenical Pharmaceutical Network (EPN) Forum 2016, Tubingen, Germany. May 18-21, 2016.
The EPN Forum 2016, held 18-21 May 2016, in Tubingen, Germany, convened EPN constituents and stakeholders to intensify the network’s focus on major challenges in the pharmaceutical sector, including antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The forum was a chance for stakeholders to exchange ideas, share knowledge and best practices, and chart an effective course of action to […]
Esta guía ha sido preparada para los docentes que serán responsables de facilitar el “Diplomado sobre Uso Racional de Medicamentos”. La guía comprende una sección introductoria que presente los objetivos, finalidad y productos esperados del Diplomado; y una sección práctica que ofrece al docente los materiales y recursos necesarios para dirigir y apoyar a los estudiantes en su programa del Diplomado.
Disclaimer: These documents have been finalized in collaboration with country partners and have not been reviewed by SIAPS Program editorial staff
The USAID-funded SIAPS program has been influential in designing Namibia’s approach to preventing the development of antimicrobial resistance including HIV drug resistance. Due to the rapid scale-up of ART services, Namibia has achieved high ART coverage of the HIV-positive population. Although it can be minimized, HIV drug resistance (HIV-DR) is anticipated to emerge among people […]
Outcomes of the Journalists’ Capacity-Building Intervention in the Prevention and Containment of Antimicrobial Resistance in Ethiopia, 2012 to 2014
Irrational use of medicines has been a major public health problem, and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global public health and economic threat. AMR has been on the agenda of the annual World Health Assembly meetings. The Food, Medicine, and Health Care Administration and Control Authority (FMHACA) of Ethiopia with technical assistance from SIAPS and its predecessor program, Strengthening Pharmaceutical Systems, conducted an antimicrobials use and AMR prevention and control baseline survey in 2009. 4 The baseline survey showed the magnitude of AMR and the gaps in prescribing, dispensing, and use of antimicrobials. As part of a coordinated national effort to prevent and contain AMR, an AMR Advisory Committee led to the development of a national framework, an action plan, and multifaceted interventions. These interventions have been launched for the prevention and containment of AMR and the promotion of RMU. One means to implement interventions that target the public is the use of mass media, particularly, television, radio, and print media. The purpose of intervention is to empower the public to use medications appropriately by creating awareness, providing education, and advocating for AMR prevention and containment. However, the mass media are highly commercialized and charge a substantial amount of money for the airtime or space needed, making their use not only less accessible financially for the health programs but also unsustainable. Therefore, the FMHACA and SIAPS developed an intervention strategy to build the capacity of journalists to improve their understanding of the topic of AMR, so that they can make AMR prevention and containment and the use of medicines a priority for their media outlets.
To learn more about SIAPS program activities worldwide, please read our annual report for program year 6.
Project dates: January 2012 – September 2017
A presentation by Mohan P. Joshi, Principal Technical Advisor and Lead for Pharmaceutical Services, SIAPS, at USAID in Arlington, VA […]