HAAD to draft key drug list

ABU DHABI — Health Authority Abu Dhabi (HAAD) is in the process of drafting an essential drug list and standard treatment guidelines, two of the core strategies for developing a Rational Drug Use (RDU) national programme, according to Dr Mohammed Abuelkhair, Drugs and Medical Products Advisor to the authority.

By Asma Hamid (Our staff reporter)

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Published: Tue 20 May 2008, 8:38 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 7:10 PM

Dr Abuelkhair told Khaleej Times on Sunday that HAAD would prepare an essential drug list within two weeks. The list would be distributed among all licensed hospitals in the emirate.

He explained that essential drugs are those that treat the most common diseases in a particular country, and thus satisfy the healthcare needs of the majority of the population.

"Every country should have an essential drug list, and most advanced countries have lists for physicians to choose from a limited set of prescribed medications for common conditions, instead of relying solely on their own opinions," he said.

In addition to the essential drugs list, the health authority would also be forming multidisciplinary committees by the beginning of next month, in order to draft treatment guidelines.

"Various teams comprising health professionals and experts will design treatment guidelines for non-communicable diseases and the other most common diseases encountered by health professionals in the country," said Dr Abuelkhair.

He added that these guidelines would be issued by the end of the year, and stressed that the process of compiling the essential drug list and treatment guidelines is an ongoing process and frequent updates would be necessary.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the essential drug list and treatment guidelines are invaluable in improving the quality of healthcare and reducing costs.

The WHO's official web site adds that when essential drug lists and treatment guidelines are in place, health professionals become more familiar with the drugs and can better recognise adverse drug reactions; lower costs are achieved through selecting cost-effective treatment; and the limited range of drugs in the supply system may lead to economies of scale and competition between manufacturers, further reducing the costs.

Rational Drug Use

At the national level, HAAD and the Ministry of Health (MoH), in collaboration with WHO, have, for the first time, developed a list of core strategies for developing a Rational Drug Use (RDA) national programme.

Evidence presented in the First National Conference on Rational Drug Use (RDA), held in the capital on May 15-16, had emphasised that the misuse of medicines continued to be a widespread problem and had serious impacts on the health and economy of the country.

Without clear treatment guidelines, physicians may over-prescribe medication, which leads to increased drug expenditure, detrimental health consequences, and bacterial resistance.

The RDA conference recommended the formation of a drafting committee, representing HAAD, MoH, academia and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), to be responsible for drafting the action plan for the country, which will be reviewed by WHO.

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