New e-learning course on rational medicine use launched for Indian pharmacists

Collaboration between WHO India, THSTI, and PCI aims to enhance healthcare quality through improved medication practices.

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New Delhi: In a significant move towards achieving universal health coverage (UHC) and promoting rational medication practices, the World Health Organization (WHO) India Country Office, Translational Health Science & Technology Institute (THSTI), and Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) have jointly developed and launched an e-learning course on the Rational Use of Medicines for pharmacists across India.
The course, aimed at addressing the importance of appropriate medication usage, aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) objective of achieving UHC, which includes ensuring access to quality-assured medical products. Rational Use of Medicines (RUM), as defined by WHO, emphasizes “patients receiving medications appropriate to their clinical needs, in doses that meet their requirements, for an adequate time, and at the lowest cost to them and their community”.
During the inaugural address, Dr. Rajeev Singh Raghuvanshi, Drugs Controller General (India), Central Drugs Standard Control Organization Govt of India, stressed the pivotal role of rational medicine use, “I firmly advocate that the rational use of medicines is pivotal in preventing avoidable adverse drug effects, optimizing therapeutic outcomes by fostering patient adherence, and minimizing the overall expenditure on drug therapy.
The Government of India through the National Health Policy (2017) emphasizes the importance of rational use of medicines including pharmacovigilance in healthcare settings.
Congratulating THSTI, PCI, and WHO India Office, for the launch of the E-Learning Course on Rational use of Medicines, Dr Roderico H Ofrin, WHO Representative to India said, “I am certain this course will enhance the knowledge of pharmacists in the promotion of rational use of medicines across healthcare delivery system in the nation and ultimately contribute to providing quality health care to patients”.
The course, recommended by WHO, incorporates various strategies to promote rational medicine use, including drug use policies, clinical guidelines, evidence-based clinical practice, essential medicines list, public education, and regulatory enforcement.
“This online course has several unique features like inbuilt mechanism for an exit assessment and certification and dynamic discussion forum for continued interaction between the experts & participants” said, Dr Hilde, Team Leader, Health systems, WHO India Country office.
Dr. G. Karthikeyan, Executive Director of BRICS-Translational Health Science and Technology Institute, Department of Biotechnology, Government of India emphasized, “This course aims to deepen understanding and promote compliance with rational medication practices within the healthcare system. By ensuring patients receive appropriate medications in optimal doses and duration at minimal cost, pharmacists play a pivotal role in enhancing healthcare quality.”
Comprising modules on fundamental concepts of Rational Use of Medicines, Pharmacy Practice Regulation, and Drug Regulatory System in India, the comprehensive course is supported by distinguished Course Advisory Group Members and Faculty Members from various parts of the country, possessing expertise in medicine, pharmacology, public health, and drug regulation.
In acknowledgment of the course’s significance, Dr. Montu Patel, President of Pharmacy Council of India, pledged support for improving rational medicine use, “Pharmacy Council of India will extend all support to THSTI and WHO for improving the rational use of medicines to develop education and policy interventions for safe and rational use of medicines”.
The launch ceremony witnessed participation from eminent subject experts and Course Advisory Group Members, includingDr Gagandeep Kang, Director-Enterics, Diagnostics, Genomics & Epidemiology, Global Health, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF); Dr Deependra Singh, Chairman – Education Regulation Committee, Pharmacy Council of India; Dr Sucheta Banerjee Kurundkar, Principal Scientist II, Translational Health Science and Technology Institute; Dr Dhananjay K Sable, Deputy Drugs Controller (India) CDSCO, MoHFW; and Eminent Subject Experts from all over the country, underscoring the collaborative effort’s importance in advancing rational medicine use practices in India.