New website to provide information on medicines
January 25 2016 12:43 AM
KRISHNAN
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The Supreme Council of Health (SCH) has launched the first Qatar National Formulary (QNF), a digital format about the information of the medicines approved in the country.
The QNF will enable physicians, clinical staff and the general public to access the latest  information, through the website www.qnf.qa, on more than 4,800 medicines available in the country.
The QNF features a medication guide that reports on adverse effects of medicines. There is provision for online reporting of adverse drug reaction, as a member of World Health Organisation’s Uppsala Monitoring Centre (UMC). Located in Uppsala, Sweden, the UMC is the field name for the WHO Collaborating Centre for International Drug
Monitoring.
The QNF website provides resources for training on the new system, including video and comprehensive user manuals with  research methods.
SCH assistant secretary general for Medical Affairs Dr Salih Ali al-Marri said “enabling clinical staff to access the latest essential drug information is a significant step in supporting evidence based best practice for patient care”.
“The QNF is a prerequisite for ensuring world-class quality healthcare and it is one of the outputs of the National Health Strategy 2011-2016, ‘Healthcare Products Regulation’ project. The QNF aims to save time and costs in prescribing, dispensing and administrating approved drugs in accordance with national regulations. It also ensures that medicines are administered and used safely and accurately,” he explained.
Dr Hanan al-Kuwari, managing director, Hamad Medical Corporation, described the QNF as “a valuable resource providing all healthcare professionals with clinically-validated medicine information and guidance on best practice”.
“This important tool will help doctors, nurses, and pharmacists to have easier access to the same information when they research and select safe and effective medicines for individual patients,” Dr al-Kuwari said.
Primary Health Care Corporation managing director Dr Mariam Abdulmalik  welcomed the use of digital innovation tools such as the QNF to support the provision of safe and  quality healthcare.
“The PHCC family medicine model and primary care patients will greatly benefit by receiving high quality and accurate information on medicines.”
Dr Aisha al-Ansari, director of the Pharmacy and Drug Control Department SCH and responsible for the Formulary delivery, observed that “the platform offers instant transparency on the availability of medications to help reduce errors, confusion and support faster decision making”.
“With an app format, there is no need of Internet access. Once the application is downloaded, QNF can be accessed from anywhere. The website and application are expected to be used by most of the prescribing physicians and professionals in Qatar,” she elaborated.
The official highlighted that the QNF was not meant to replace face-to-face prescription or consultations. “Patients and public can get greater knowledge of medicines through the website and app but we always recommend they consult a medical professional to obtain proper clinical guidance on medicines.
“The platform is, however, an important tool to empower the public to research and become more actively involved in their health and wellness. We have been working with the development team for two years on the project,” she added.

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