Medicine use and Pharmaceutical policy
To what extent do Swedes think about the climate when they choose medicines? Is patient safety high in pharmacies in Sweden? These are some questions our researchers are concerned with.
Research on medicine use and policy covers the role of medicines for individuals, populations and society. The field of science is called social pharmacy and was developed during the 1980s. MEDUP (Medicine Use & Pharmaceutical Policy) is one of the most active research groups in Sweden in the field. Subjects addressed by the group include which medicines are used by various population groups, how they are used and what affects their use at individual and societal level. Prescribing and use of medicines is largely influenced by policies that regulate the availability and accessibility of medicines, which makes it important to study both the positive and negative effects of policies from different perspectives.
Our researchers investigate medicine use and pharmaceutical policy in population studies, which include register research, but also in qualitative studies. Sustainability perspectives are important for the research group, from social sustainability and to counteracting inequity in treatment and use, to the environmental impact of medicine use. The research is conducted through the research group MEDUP and via a network with other researchers in the same field. The goal is to help ensure, through research, that medical treatment and medicine use are equitable and rational, and lead to good health, quality of life and patient satisfaction.
More information about the MEDUP Research group
Our research areas
- Prescribing, use of medicines, and their outcomes
- Strategies for improving medicine use in society: drug policies and pharmaceutical interventions at pharmacies and in health care
- The pharmaceutical professions, pharmacy practice and collaboration with other health care professionals
- Development of research methods in the field
Currently, our researchers are studying perceived barriers to medical treatment in people with asthma, patient safety in Swedish pharmacies, and different perspectives on medicines and the environment. In a method project, a new questionnaire is being developed to measure adherence to medical treatment. We are also planning for a new project on medicines that are bought illegally.
- A large-scale population study shows that 2 per cent of the Swedish people are affected by headaches as a result of medicine overuse. These headaches are caused by drugs used to treat migraines and tension headaches, and are more common in people with lower educational attainment and income levels.
- The first Swedish studies of various ways of measuring medication adherence, using the Swedish Prescribed Drug Register, were carried out with contributions from the MEDUP research group.
- Knowledge about the use of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines was previously limited. The MEDUP research group has been able to show that in general, except for young adults, Swedes have a good understanding of potential risks of OTC medicines.
Close connection between research and education
There is close cooperation between the Institute’s research and our education and training, in which many of our researchers too are involved. They supervise doctoral students and teach on our regular programmes, freestanding courses and vocational care programmes within Sahlgrenska Academy.