National policies for safety of medicines in the Asia Pacific region

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


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.