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Studies planned on medicine use, drug policy

New Delhi, March 8 (IANS) In a bid to improve provision of healthcare services, a study on responsible use of medicines and consensus-building on drug policy will be undertaken, under the aegis of the World Bank and the Planning Commission, a statement released Friday said.

IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics will be involved in these studies, according to a statement released by them.

"Discussions are underway to initiate research projects with the Planning Commission of the Government of India on patient access to affordable medicines and healthcare, and with the World Bank on responsible medicine use in India and Bangladesh," Amit Backliwal, general manager, South Asia, IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics said.

As part of the Planning Commission study, the IMS Institute would build consensus among healthcare stakeholders and recommend a framework to provide effective, appropriate and sustainable access to medicines.

"The study will start by May, and bring together leading policy advisors, educators, researchers and medical care providers to initiate research activities and apply evidence-based approaches to address this key healthcare issue. Responsible use of medicines is a global hot topic. We have already started audit of doctors prescription," Backliwal said.

He also elaborated that the study with the World Bank would assess the potential impact of improvements in responsible medicine use from both a health outcomes and cost savings perspective.

"The study will look into the increased medicine adherence by addressing patient beliefs and behaviours at the point of prescription and during medicine intake. It will also look upon on how to manage polypharmacy where the concurrent use of multiple medicines, particularly among the elderly, risks costly complications," he added.