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Last updated: 27 July, 2023

Quality use of medicines

Medicines should be used judiciously, appropriately, safely and efficaciously. QUM means9:

  • selecting management options wisely by
    • considering the place of medicines in treating illness and maintaining health
    • recognising that there may be better ways than use of a medicine to manage many health conditions
  • choosing suitable medicines, if a medicine is considered necessary, so that the best available option is selected, by taking into account
    • the individual patient
    • the clinical condition
    • possible harms and benefits, based on the best evidence
    • dosage and length of treatment
    • any co-existing conditions
    • other therapies
    • monitoring considerations
    • costs for the individual, the community and the health system
  • using medicines safely and effectively to achieve the best possible results by
    • monitoring outcomes
    • minimising misuse, over-use and under-use
    • improving people’s ability to solve problems relating to medication, such as negative effects or managing multiple medicines.

Promoting and ensuring QUM is a central aspect of professional pharmacy practice. Key pharmacist roles, such as dispensing, medicines review, medicines reconciliation and counselling, all involve consideration of QUM.