Irrational use of medicines has been a global and national problem for decades. It has an effect on the drug safety and the financial security of the country. The World Health Organization states that more than 50 percent of drug use in developing countries is inappropriate and wasted. Since 1976 the WHO has urged Member States from time to time to recognize the importance of this issue, and made global situation assessment. In recent years, they have focused on antimicrobial resistance management.
Since 2002, the universal health coverage (UHC) scheme was implemented in Thailand, almost 50 percent of people have gone to public health care facilities; while the purchasing drugs for self-medication is reduced from 60 percent to only 20 percent. But about half of the outpatients received more medicines than they needed. As a result, the country posted a fiscal loss of around 2,350 million baht/year. Moreover, nearly half of the causal medication related problems (MRPs) in outpatients and nearly ninety percent in patients at home were preventable MRPs. Although the access to government health care services are increase but the purchase of vitamins and supplements by high incomes people grows exponentially due to the influence of advertising. Therefore, in December 2018, the National Drug System Development Committee, which was chaired by a Deputy Prime Minister, announced a national policy to move Thailand towards the rational drug use country. The ultimate goal of this policy is the quality of life of Thai people based on rational drug use in order to ensure access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and sustained healthcare system.
Therefore, side meeting objectives are generate recommendations, mobilization to reinvigorate action towards rational drug use and enhancement of international collaborations to move towards realization of rational drug use country, for sustained UHC.