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E-DRUG: Announcement of International Conference

 1st International Conference on Improving Use of Medicines (ICIUM)
               State of the Art and Future Directions
                        Chiang Mai, Thailand
                           April 1-4, 1997

This first ICIUM conference will bring together individuals involved
in investigating and implementing programs to improve the use of
medicines, with an emphasis on developing and recently industrialized
countries. Participants will examine and review the available scientific
evidence about interventions to improve medication use; identify
effective strategies and their implications for policy and programs;
and establish directions for future research.

The conference will be of particular interest to pharmaceutical
researchers, policymakers, health program managers, staff from
international agencies and donors, international pharmaceutical
consultants, pharmaceutical industry representatives, and consumer

*     Networking and exchange of experiences among leaders in the
*     Presentation of critical reviews and case studies on strategies 
      for improving use of medicines.
*     Preparation of conference proceedings that summarize experiences;
      identify important gaps in what is known; propose major future
      research topics; and highlight key action steps to implement
      effective strategies.
*     Dissemination of useful tools, including methods for investigating
      medication use; training curricula; informational material; and
      models for effective interventions.
*     Identification of countries and institutions with particular
      strengths in implementing effective programs to improve
      medication use.

250 participants
Preference given to those with an accepted abstract

Westin Chiangmai Hotel
Chiang Mai, Thailand, April 1-4, 1997
Registration fee: US$ 225 (US$ 200 before January 1, 1997)

The ICIUM Conference will take place in Chiang Mai, known as "The
Rose of Northern Thailand." Chiang Mai is Thailand's second largest
city and is located one hour's flight north of the capital city of
Bangkok.  The area around Chiang Mai offers numerous opportunities
for sight-seeing, shopping, and recreation.  The Westin Chiangmai is a
deluxe hotel near the city's business and shopping districts operated
by Westin Hotels and Resorts.

*     The conference is being organized by a consortium of Thai
      organizations, including the Thailand Core Group of the 
      International Network for Rational Use of Drugs (INRUD) and the
      Food and Drug Administration of the Ministry of Public Health,
      in collaboration with leading Thai universities, professional
      societies, and pharmaceutical associations.
*     International sponsorship includes INRUD, the World Health
      Organization Action Programme on Essential Drugs, and the U.S.
      Pharmacopoeial Convention.  

*     PLENARY SESSIONS: Presentation of critical reviews of existing
      experience and key case studies; presentation and discussion of
      results from small group sessions; development of conference
      summary statement and recommendations.
*     SMALL GROUP SESSIONS: Presentation of case studies; extensive
      discussion and debate about experiences; development of synthesis
      statements and action steps at the international, national, and
      local level.
*     POSTER SESSIONS: All accepted case studies will be summarized in
      posters, which will be on display throughout the entire meeting.

*     Optional pre-conference STUDY VISITS will be arranged for
      participants interested in learning about activities to improve
      pharmaceutical use in Thailand.  Information about possible study
      visits will be provided with registration materials.
*     Optional pre- or post-conference SATELLITE WORKSHOPS will be
      arranged on request to focus on special pharmaceutical topics or
      to enable meetings among specific interest groups. Requests to
      arrange satellite workshops should be received by December 31,

To receive registration materials, please send a message to the
conference organizers at:

      ICIUM Meeting, Conference Secretariat
      The College of Public Health, Chulalongkorn University
      10th Floor, Institute Building 3
      Soi Chulalongkorn 62, Phayathai Road
      Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330   THAILAND
      TEL: (66-2) 218 8187-8   FAX: (66-2) 255 6046
      E-MAIL: chitr@chulkn.chula.ac.th

ICIUM invites the submission of case studies that (1) describe the
effects of an intervention or a policy on drug use in a developing or
newly industrialized country; or (2) examine innovative methods or tools
for studying patterns and determinants of drug use in these settings. 
Descriptive studies will only be considered if they present useful new

A structured abstract form is included with the registration materials
available from the conference organizers at the address listed above. 
This form must be used when submitting case studies for consideration. 
The deadline for submission is November 1, 1996.

Case studies should be DATA-ORIENTED, and describe research,
interventions, programs, policy analyses, or country experiences in the
area of improving use of medicines.  All case studies will be displayed
as posters throughout the meeting.  Many authors will also be invited
to give 5-10 minute oral presentations of their case studies in small
group sessions.  Special consideration will be given to case studies
that address one of the following priority questions.

1. Measurement And Methods in Medication Use Research:
*     What are valid and reliable methodologies for measuring drug
*     What are the best methods to study the influence of socio-cultural
      factors on medication use?
*     How can standardized indicators be used to study public and
      private sector drug use?
*     What are the most useful qualitative methods for studying
      medication use?

2. Improving Medication Use by Health Providers:
*     How effective are clinical guidelines and standard treatments in
      developing countries?
*     What is the most successful in-service training strategy to
      improve provider behavior?
*     How effective are drug information centers or drug bulletins in
      improving medication use?
*     How does pharmaceutical company promotion affect prescribing?

3. Improving Medication Use in the Community:
*     What strategies can improve medication advice and sales in
      private pharmacies?
*     What is the most effective format for patient education about
*     Does promoting appropriate medication practices in the media
      improve use?
*     What strategies work to improve patient compliance with
      therapeutic recommendations?

4. Using Economic Forces and Pharmaceutical Policies to Improve
Medication Use:
*     How can economic forces be used to promote appropriate use?
*     How do generic purchasing or prescribing regulations affect
      medication use?
*     What are the positive and negative impacts of product banning or
*     Does restricting use of certain medications to specific providers
      improve their use?


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