Strategic Medicines Planning in Primary Health Care
AbstractMedicines and pharmaceutical products are indispensable to delivery of public health services in rural communities, cities, and health facilities. In primary health care, auxiliary health workers are responsible for delivery of services, while professional pharmacists have pivotal role in determining medicines needs, setting priorities, procuring, and managing drugs. Health care professionals work in turbulent and unpredictable environments stemming from disparate health demands, structures, and processes. The challenge in many African countries is even greater with limited resources, greater health problems, poor management systems, ubiquity of fake drug distributors, and poor medicines planning. These factors contribute to perpetual ‘out of stock’ syndrome, proliferation of fake and adulterated drugs, and continued poor health situations. Strategic medicines planning requires broad understanding of health and medicines realities within a context. Pharmacists viewing the community from a holistic perspective promote effectiveness in pharmacy, and facilitate synergy among the various groups to solve intractable medicines problems. Strategic medicines planning (SMP) involves systematic planning by senior pharmacists in the community that considers broad medicine needs and resources necessary in the medium and long term. It feeds the primary health care strategic health plan, and sets direction for medicine planning in wards and communities. Issues considered affect the community and health facilities in the community, such as shape and nature of the pharmacy department, and how to finance it; essential drugs needed in the community; materials and other pharmaceutical products needed and their distribution; pricing of commodities; relationships with the community and other health organisations; relationship with government; and potential opportunities and threats. Hence, it is necessary to advocate strategic medicines planning as important role for professional pharmacists in primary health care.
Keywords: Strategic Medicines Planning, and Primary Health Care Medicines Planning
Nigerian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research, Vol. 8 No 1 pp. 288 - 293 (September 2010)
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