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[e-drug] HIFA working group on Information for Prescribers and Users of Medicines: we need your input

E-DRUG: HIFA working group on Information for Prescribers and Users
 of Medicines: we need your input
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HIFA working group on Information for Prescribers and Users
 of Medicines: we need your input

Dear e-drug colleagues,

The HIFA working group on Information for Prescribers and Users of
Medicines is undertaking a scoping review of literature on six themes
relating to our shared vision (a world where every prescriber and user of
medicines will have access to independent, reliable, understandable
information on the full range of commonly prescribed medicines � and will
know where to find  it).

The six themes are:
(1) The information sources used for prescribing in Low and Middle Income
Countries (LMICs);
(2) Information sources for consumers in LMICs;
(3) How medicines information is accessed in LMICs
(4) The consequences of prescribing with either no information or
biased/inaccurate information;
(5) The benefits / usefulness of different sources of information on
medicines;
(6) Practical aspects of compiling a drug formulary.

Over the past year we have searched Medline, Embase, International
Pharmaceutical Abstracts, and Google Scholar. We indentified over 1300
papers published in the last 5 years, but only 56 of these papers were
relevant to the above themes. So, our first finding is that the evidence
base for this area is very limited, given the huge importance of the
subject.

Nevertheless, the 56 papers contain some interesting content and we would
now like to explore this further with HIFA members on this forum.

We can start with theme (1) (we shall introduce other themes over the
coming weeks):
(1) The information sources used for prescribing in Low and Middle Income
Countries (LMICs). The main three subthemes to emerge in theme 1 were:
a. Many prescribers rely partially or entirely on pharmaceutical companies
for their information
b. Old print copies of the BNF (British National Formulary) are widely used
c. There is a lack of uptodate national formularies in many countries, and
sometimes there is discordance between content and national policy.

Do the above resonate with you? What is your experience? We invite your
comments, suggestions, anecdotes from your experience, and any
recommendations you may have for further reading on this topic.

Our aim is to better understand and highlight the issues on availability
and use of information on medicines, and to use this to inform our future
advocacy.

We are also working with colleagues at WHO Geneva to look into the
possibility of a roundtable conference in late 2017 or early 2018 on the
question: "What can be done to improve the availability and use of
information for prescribers, dispensers and users of medicines in LMICs?"

On behalf of HIFA I would like to thank everyone on the HIFA working group
on Information for Prescribers and Users of Medicines, and especially Sarah
Cavanagh (our coordinator), Carla Rodrigues, Malcolm Brewster, John
Liebhardt and John Eyers.

All of the above is being done so far without funding. However we would
welcome any suggestions for how we might build our technical and/or
financial capacity to acclerate progress. For more information please see
our web page: http://www.hifa.org/projects/prescribers-and-users-medicines

With thanks and best wishes, Neil

Let's build a future where people are no longer dying for lack of
healthcare information - Join HIFA: www.hifa.org

 Neil Pakenham-Walsh
 coordinator of the HIFA campaign
"Neil Pakenham-Walsh" <neil.pakenham-walsh@ghi-net.org>
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