Original Article

The Impact of the National Essential Medicines Policy on Rational Drug Use in Primary Care Institutions in Jiangsu Province of China


Background: Essential medicine policy is a successful global health policy to promote rational drug use. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of the National Essential Medicines Policy (NEMP) on the rational drug use in primary care institutions in Jiangsu Province of China.

Methods: In this exploratory study, a multistage, stratified, random sampling was used to select 3400 prescriptions from 17 primary care institutions who implemented the NEMP before (Jan 2010) and after the implementation of the NEMP (Jan 2014). The analyses were performed in SPSS 18.0 and SPSS Clementine client.

Results: After the implementation of the NEMP, the percentage of prescribed EML (Essential Medicines List) drugs rose significantly, the average number of drugs per prescription and average cost per prescription were declined significantly, while the differences of the prescription proportion of antibiotics and injection were not statistically significant. BP (Back Propagation) neural network analysis showed that the average number of drugs per prescription, the number of using antibiotics and hormone, regional differences, size of institutions, sponsorship, financial income of institutions, doctor degree, outpatient and emergency visits person times were important factors affecting the prescription costs, among these the average number of drugs per prescription has the greatest effect.

Conclusion: The NEMP can promote the rational use of drugs in some degree, but its role is limited. We should not focus only on the EML but also make comprehensive NEMP.


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IssueVol 47 No 1 (2018) QRcode
SectionOriginal Article(s)
Primary care institutions Rational drug use National essential medicines policy China

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How to Cite
CHAO J, GU J, ZHANG H, CHEN H, WU Z. The Impact of the National Essential Medicines Policy on Rational Drug Use in Primary Care Institutions in Jiangsu Province of China. Iran J Public Health. 2017;47(1):24-32.