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WHO South East Asia J Public Health. 2013 Apr-Jun;2(2):118-120. doi: 10.4103/2224-3151.122947.

National policies for safety of medicines in the Asia Pacific region.

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Technical Officer and Medicines Policy Adviser, WHO Country Office for Viet Nam, Canberra, Australia.
Discipline of Pharmacy, University of Canberra, Australia.


National medicines policies can aid the safe use of medicines by ensuring availability of quality products, appropriate information for prescribers and consumers, strengthening the national medicines regulatory capacity and improving access to expert advice and authoritative laboratory testing. We report the findings of a workshop on medicines safety, which focused on the Asia Pacific region. Participants noted that external support is needed for resource-poor countries and that national medicines policies should include surveillance on problems with medicines, rather than the more limited monitoring of adverse drug reactions. The latter approach may be the only sensible option in countries in the Asia Pacific with very small populations.

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