Pharmaceutical policy is a global concern. It has become a hot political topic in most countries--developed as well as developing--and can be found on the agenda of international organizations such as WHO, OECD, EU, WTO and even the World Bank. Pharmaceutical policy affects everyone in the world of pharmacy and it is therefore imperative that it be understood, discussed and debated within the pharmacy profession and included in the curriculum of schools of pharmacy. This, the first article in a series, argues for the importance of the academic discipline of pharmaceutical policy analysis and the involvement of pharmacists in this endeavour. The aim of the authors is to stimulate an informed and critical appreciation of this field. The authors begin with an introduction to the field of pharmaceutical policy, introducing several important concepts and current trends including: medicines regulation; how pharmaceutical policy is made; pharmaceutical policy as a dynamic process; and the new public health as a global issue. The article ends with a short description of the remaining five articles in the series which will deal with important aspects of pharmaceutical policy. The topics include: economic pressures on health care systems; drug utilization from the clinical viewpoint (rational use of medicines); the impact of pharmaceutical policy on patients and the patient impact on pharmaceutical policy; the professional perspective; and finally the last article which deals with studying and evaluating pharmaceutical policy.
International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy, 2005, Vol 27, Issue 1, p. 7-12
Drug Industry; Health Personnel; Health Policy; Legislation, Drug; Pharmaceutical Services; Politics; Public Health