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Ciência & Saúde Coletiva

On-line version ISSN 1678-4561Print version ISSN 1413-8123


AQUINO, Daniela Silva de. Why rational drug use must be a priority?. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2008, vol.13, suppl., pp.733-736. ISSN 1678-4561.

According to the World Health Organization, rational drug use means that patients receive medicines appropriate to their clinical needs, in doses that meet their individual requirements, for an adequate period of time, and at the lowest cost to them and their community. However, as far as one can see, the reality is very different. In Brazil, at least, 35% of medicines are purchased for self-medication. Medicaments are responsible for 27% of intoxications in Brazil and for 16% of deaths due to poisoning are caused by medicaments. Moreover, 50% of medicaments are prescribed, dispensed or used inappropriately and hospitals spend about 15 to 20% of their budgets to deal with the troubles caused by misuse of medicaments. The promise of immediate relief of suffering is a very attractive appeal, but it has its price. Sometimes the price we pay is our health. Rational drug use requires a very complex logical chain involving a number of variables and participation of different social actors including patients, health professionals, legislators, policy makers, industry, commerce and the government.

Keywords : Drugs; Rational use; Poisoning.

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