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What is rational pharmacotherapy?

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
Publication date 15.12.2016 13.33
News item

Rational, or appropriate pharmacotherapy is effective, safe, appropriate, and economical. The purpose of the implementation programme for rational pharmacotherapy is the implementation of these goals.

Ministerial Adviser Ulla Närhi of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health explains what rational pharmacotherapy is in greater detail on the video. In addition, she explains why the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health is carrying out an implementation programme for rational pharmacotherapy, what will actually be done in the programme, and when the implementation programme will be ready.

Link to the video interview:

Text version of the interview

What is rational pharmacotherapy?

"Rational, or appropriate pharmacotherapy is safe, effective, economical, and appropriate pharmacotherapy. In other words, it means giving the right medicine to the right patient at the right time, and with the right dosage. Pharmacotherapy is not sensible in situations when it is used, for example, "just in case" - like the man next door would take a packet of headache powder every morning just in case he happens to get a headache."

How is the rational pharmacotherapy implementation programme to be carried out?

"Rational, or appropriate pharmacotherapy, and the rationalisation of pharmaceutical treatments is seen to be important enough to be incorporated into the Government Programme. In accordance with Prime Minister Sipilä's Government Programme, an implementation programme for rational pharmacotherapy is to be implemented for the improvement of the standard of pharmaceutical treatments and people's productive capacity in general, and for getting more cost-effectiveness into pharmaceutical treatments."

What will be done in practice?

"First, we need to identify the themes around which the implementation programme is to be developed, and around which measures are to be taken. Identified themes include prescribing, delivering, and using medicines, the structures of pharmaceutical supply in the new social and health systems, data management, the evaluation of the therapeutic and economic value of medicines, research linked with rational pharmacotherapy and pharmaceutical innovations. The whole of the implementation programme is to be built around these themes."

When will it be ready?

"Processing the implementation programme will continue throughout the Government's term in office. An interim report will be made public at the beginning of 2017."

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