WHO guide to good prescribing is 25 years old: quo vadis?

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Introduction: Twenty-five years ago, the World Health Organization (WHO) published the Guide to Good Prescribing (GGP), followed by the accompanying Teacher’s Guide to Good Prescribing (TGGP). The GGP is based on a normative 6-step model for therapeutic reasoning and prescribing, and provides a six-step guide for students to the process of rational prescribing. Method: We reviewed the need to update both WHO publications by evaluating their use and impact, including new (theoretical) insights and demands. Based on information from literature, Internet, and other (personal) sources, we draw the following conclusions. Results: 1. An update of the GGP and TGGP, both in terms of content and form, is necessary because of the current need for these tools (irrational medicine use and unavailability of medicines), the lack of similar documents, and the lack of connection with recent developments, such as Internet and modern education; 2. The basic (6-step) model of the GGP is effective in terms of rational prescribing in the undergraduate situation and is still consistent with current theories about (context) learning, clinical decision-making, and clinical practice; 3. The dissemination and introduction of the GGP and TGGP in education has been successful so far, but is still not optimal because of lack of support and cooperation. Conclusions: On the basis of the evaluation results, a plan for the revision of the GGP and TGGP is presented.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)507-513
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean journal of clinical pharmacology
Issue number4
Early online dateJan 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020


  • Clinical pharmacology
  • Education
  • Guide to good prescribing
  • Pharmacotherapy
  • Rational prescribing
  • WHO 6 step

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