Developing a Canadian prescribing practices network. Network Development Committee of the Canadian Prescribing Practices Network Project.
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Expenditure on drug therapy in Canada has been growing at a faster rate than spending on any other aspect of health care. Increasing societal pressure to use scarce resources more efficiently, advances in communication technology and data indicating that there is room for improvement in drug prescribing suggest that the time has come for an organized linkage of the available drug-utilization and health-outcomes data-bases across the country. A national prescribing practices network would assist prescribers, researchers and policymakers to optimize prescribing with respect to both cost effectiveness and health outcomes. The authors outline the main concerns addressed in the 1994 report to the National Pharmaceutical Strategy and present the results of discussions by the Canadian Prescribing Practices Network Project with respect to the potential users and data sources of a national network and the communications technology on which it would rely.
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