Ongoing initiatives to improve the prescribing of medicines across sectors and the implications

Godman, Brian (2020) Ongoing initiatives to improve the prescribing of medicines across sectors and the implications. Advances in Human Biology, 10 (3). pp. 85-89. (

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We believe medicines including vaccines are a critical component in the management of both infectious diseases and non-communicable diseases (NCDs),[1-5] reflected in global sales of medicines likely to exceed $1.5 trillion by 2023 and currently growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 3 to 6%.[6] Medicines also play a critical role in lower- and middle-income countries (LMICs) where their expenditure can account for over 60% of total healthcare expenditure. [7] Since typically these costs are out-of-pocket, there can be catastrophic consequences for families when members become ill.[8-11] These consequences and concerns are exacerbated by the World Health Organization (WHO) estimating that more than half of all medicines are prescribed or dispensed inappropriately, with approximately half of all patients failing to take them correctly.[12,13] Inappropriate prescribing can also increase the number of adverse drug reactions, increasing morbidity and mortality as well as costs. [12,14-17] Consequently, inappropriate prescribing should be avoided where possible.