According to the WHO definition (as included in our glossary), rational use of medicines requires that “patients receive medications appropriate to their clinical needs, in doses that meet their own individual requirements, for an adequate period of time, and at the lowest cost to them and their community.”
Rational use of medicines concerns several pharmaceutical policies, e.g. pricing and reimbursement (a rational selection of medicines for the positive list, fair medicines prices), but also pharmaceutical promotion, distribution, marketing authorisation.
The PPRI Conference 2011 had one strand devoted to the rational use of medicines, addressing different aspects. Studies, e.g. European overviews and analyses of instruments for improving a more rational use of medicines, are available.