New recommendations on meds information


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More attention needs to be paid to improving the quality of medicines information resources, says FIP

The International Pharmaceutical Federation has launched a new Statement of Policy: “Strategic development of medicines information for the benefit of patients and users of medicines”.

This is an update to the Federation’s 2008 statement, “Medicines information for patients”.

It highlights the importance of the strategic development of medicines information, and describes short, medium- and long-term outcomes of this approach.

“Medicines information strategies are understood as the processes, legislation, guidelines and/or policies which facilitate how medicines information can be developed, implemented and disseminated to health care professionals and patients or consumers,” says Professor Parisa Aslani, president of FIP’s Health and Medicines Information Section. 

Short-term outcomes include improved adherence to treatments, medium-term outcomes include improved communication between health care professionals, and long-term outcomes include improved self care. 

As in its 2008 statement, FIP makes recommendations for governments, member organisations and pharmacists, but the new statement also makes recommendations to pharmaceutical and health industries (for example, that they should provide regularly updated, reliable information on medicinal products) and to educational institutions that train health care professionals (for example, that courses should include the use of medicines information databases). 

“Medicines information can be inaccurate, overwhelming, biased or misunderstood, which presents potential health risks.

“It is imperative that national medicines policies acknowledge the need for quality medicines information, and that these policies recognise pharmacists as being key in informing patients and fellow health care professionals about medicines,” Prof Aslani says. 

The new statement follows the release in January 2017 of the FIP report “Medicines information: Strategic development”, which set out a vision for collaboration and action towards achieving high quality medicines information around the world.

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1 Comment

  1. Ron Batagol
    04/10/2017

    Couldn’t agree more with the recommendations to pharmaceutical and health industries “(for example, that they should provide regularly updated, reliable information on medicinal products”) and to educational institutions that train health care professionals (“for example, that courses should include the use of medicines information databases”).

    It is critical that pharmacists and, indeed, all health professionals receive adequate training in evaluating meaningful health outcomes when medications are used eg. absolute risks, number needed to treat ( or harm!). Also, peak Health Bodies need to regularly review their recommendations and guideline in medication risk assessment. For example, Australia should be moving to update our pregnancy medicine risk assessment format, by moving to a system like the one that has been recently instituted in the U.S.A, which utilises a narrative-based set of recommendations for each medication, to disseminate information on pregnancy medicine risks versus benefits, with hyperlinks to supporting data. Sadly, we remain reliant on our own 1989 homegrown but outdated and unworkable Alphabetical Pregnancy Risk.Classification system!

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