Kathy Holloway on the Frightening Facts About Use of Medicines

2011 April 12
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Dr Kathleen Holloway

Dr. Kathleen Holloway, Regional Adviser in Essential Medicines WHO South East Asia Regional Office, gave an illuminating talk during the National Initiative in Patient Safety workshop at India Habitat Center, New Delhi on 8 April 2011.

During her talk on Safety in Drug Use, she quotes from the World Health Organisation’s Rational use of medicines:

Rational use of medicines requires that patients receive medications appropriate to their clinical needs in doses that meet their own individual requirements, for an adequate period of time, and at the lowest cost to them and the community.

That being the ideal, she points out the global estimated reality today:

  • More than half of all prescriptions may be incorrect
  • More than half of all patients fail to take them correctly
  • In primary care, less than 40% of patients cared for by health professionals in the public sector and less than 30% in the private sector are treated in accordance with clinical guidelines.
    (Source: WHO 2009)

It is almost unbelievable!

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