The right medicine, at the right moment, for the patient who needs it: it might seem self-evident, but the fact is that in terms of the ideal use of medicine there is plenty of room for improvement. This means that focused research is needed into the safe, effective and efficient deployment of existing medicines.

Everyone needs medicines at some point

Everyone needs medicines at some point. For yourself, or for someone you’re caring for. And the proper use of medicines can play a role at any stage of life, from the unborn child to the palliative care phase. Sometimes medicines are only temporarily needed, for a one-off treatment; in other cases, several medicines might be continuously needed for many years.

Through a variety of programmes ZonMw directs its funding towards every part of the drug research field: from fundamental research, through the pre-clinical phase in translational research, to the ideal use of existing medicines.

We also support research into whether medicines always represent the best treatment option for a given health problem. Efficiency research provides insight into which treatments offer the best and most cost-effective results, thereby opening the way to better and more affordable care – whether this care comes in the form of a medicine or another type of intervention.

Themes within research into the good use of medicines

The Good Use of Medicines programme aims to identify lacunae in the safe, optimal, and effective use of existing medicines. The research projects are divided into various themes, which include drug dosage, polypharmacy, adherence, drug safety, drug repurposing and dosage forms.

Practical examples and background

portret van Karin Langenberg en Jan Molenaar

iTHER 2.0: towards focused treatment for childhood cancer

Around 150 children still die of cancer in the Netherlands every year. Most of these children had cancer before, and when it returned the tumor does not respond to treatment. The Princess Máxima Centre - where care and research go hand in hand - is looking for ways to treat children with more focused treatments.
Foto Valerie Meijvis, apotheker en onderzoeker bij SIR Institute for Pharmacy Practice and Policy in Leiden

Patient happy with cooperation public pharmacy and general practitioners

During the CombiConsult patients with chronic conditions discuss their medicine usage with their public pharmacy. This conversation is tied to regular checkups with the practice nurse or general practitioner. Valérie Meijvis talks about the value of this common consultation.




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Goed Gebruik Geneesmiddelen (GGG)

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