Facilitating Rational Drug Usage – An Illustrative Example

By Manimekalai Pichaivel – Pharmacist, SughaVazhvu Healthcare & Zeena Johar – President, ICTPH

“Essential Medicines are those that satisfy the priority health-care needs of the population. They are selected with due regard to disease prevalence, evidence on efficacy, safety and comparative cost-effectiveness. Essential Medicines are intended to be available within the context of functioning health systems at all times in adequate amounts, in the appropriate dosage forms, with assured quality, and at a price the individual and the community can afford.” (NRHM, 2002) (WHO, 2011)

Various prescription audits and monitoring and evaluation studies done in India have revealed factors attributing to irrational drug usage as poly-pharmacy, inappropriate prescription (inadequate dosage), over prescription (injections), non-compliance to clinical guidelines, under use of life extending drugs for illness such as hypertension, heath disease, asthma, and other chronic illness, choice of more expensive drugs, prescribing towards placebo, inadequate consultation time, very short dispensing time and poor communication of information regarding drugs (NRHM, 2002).

This paper aims to detail the ICTPH Essential Drug List as implemented through the network of nurse-managed, medical-practitioner supervised Rural Micro Health Centres in close collaboration with its Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu based partner SughaVazhvu Healthcare (SughaVazhvu Healthcare, 2010). This paper also draws a comparison between the ICTPH Essential Drug List and the WHO, India’s Essential Drug list for Primary Healthcare, Manual for Healthcare Workers (WHO, India, 2000)

This exercise has helped ICTPH to methodologically establish a process promoting organic growth of the ICTPH Essential Drug list, within an environment where-in evolving clinical treatment protocols and community based interventions compiling the suite of services offered to the population, will be integrated at a health-systems level through a standardized inclusion criterion within the drug inventory.

Read the paper here.


NRHM. (2002). Promoting Rational Drug Use under NRHM. NHSRC (National Health Systems Resource Centre), New Delhi and World Health Organization (WHO), Country Office for India.

SughaVazhvu Healthcare. (2010). Retrieved January 12, 2011, from SughaVazhvu Healthcare Private Limited: www.sughavazhvu.co.in

WHO. (2011). WHO Essential Medicines. Retrieved February 17, 2011, from World Health Organization: http://www.who.int/medicines/services/essmedicines_def/en/index.html

WHO, India. (2000). SEARO Regional Health Papers No. 16, Essential Drugs for Primary Health Care, A Manual for Health Care Workers. New Delhi, India: World Health Organization.

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12 years 6 months ago

your study seems to be more useful for my project work.if you can get the details of the study,it will be useful.thank you

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