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Promoting rational use of medicines in Europe Posted 25/03/2011

In a report by the Gesundheit Österreich GmbH / Österreichisches Bundesinstitut für Gesundheitswesen (GÖG/ÖBIG – Austrian Health Institute), measures for promoting the rational use of medicines in the 27 EU Member States were surveyed.

Key measures for the rational use of medicines studied by GÖG/ ÖBIG were:

  • International non-proprietary name (INN) prescribing

Physicians prescribing by the active ingredient name (INN) rather than the brand name.

  • Prescription guidelines

Prescription guidelines ensure that the right medicine at the correct dose is given to the right patient at the right time.

  • Pharmaceutical budgets for doctors

When third party payers (sickness funds or national health services) apply this cost-containment measure, the maximum amount of money to be spent on medicines in a specific region or over a period of time is fixed.

  • Generic substitution

When pharmacists substitute a brand name medicine for a generic or another cheaper medicine containing the same active ingredient(s).

  • Prescription monitoring

The act of assessing/observing prescribing practices of physicians applied by payers. It is sometimes accompanied by feedback to prescribers.

  • Information activities targeted at the general public

Information activities carried out by payers to convey the reasons for rational drug use, e.g. campaigns to promote generics.

In some of the countries surveyed by GÖG/ÖBIG these measures were only indicative, whereas in others they were obligatory, including sanctions for non-compliance in some cases.

The series of seven articles that follow present the results obtained by the GÖG/ÖBIG study.

Acknowledgement

This article is published with permission of the Gesundheit Österreich GmbH (GÖG)/Austrian Health Institute.

We gratefully acknowledge the support from Dr Sabine Vogler of Gesundheit Österreich GmbH / Österreichisches Bundesinstitut für Gesundheitswesen (GÖG/ÖBIG – Austrian Health Institute) to GaBI Online.

Related articles

The EU and rational use of medicines

Survey on rational use of medicines in 27 EU Members States

The Netherlands and rational use of medicines

Italy’s rational use of medicines

Germany’s rational use of medicines

Rational use of medicines in Denmark

France’s rational use of medicines

Reference

Vogler S, Schmickl B. Rational use of medicines in Europe. Gesundheit Österreich GmbH / Österreichisches Bundesinstitut für Gesundheitswesen (GÖG/ÖBIG). February 2010.

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