Quality Use of Medicines (QUM) is one of the four pillars of Australia’s National Medicines Policy which aims for best possible health outcomes from medicines use for consumers. This includes:
- Selecting management options wisely
- Choosing suitable medicines if a medicine is considered necessary
- Using medicines safely and effectively
These QUM principles apply equally to approaches by clinicians and services, decisions about medicine use by individuals and decisions that affect the health of the population.
Medicine is the most frequent intervention used in general practice. More than 200 million prescriptions are dispensed in Australia each year, improving health and wellbeing for a majority.
However, over 1.5 million people suffer adverse effects from medicines each year, contributing to at least 400,000 GP visits and 230,000 hospital admissions annually in Australia.
The Quality Use of Medicines program will develop strategic alliances with stakeholders to seek and promote innovative strategies to reduce harms and optimise the outcomes from medicines.