Based on an increasing world population, which faces also the challenges of a strong growth of non-communicable, or chronic, diseases due to prolonged life expectance, the world wide demand and usage of medication has increased dramatically over the past decades. And it will keep to do so in the upcoming decades especially in Low & Middle Income Countries.
The acronym GIMS stands for Global Initiative on Medication Safety. Whereas the primary objective of the use of medicines is associated with the achievement of (expected) positive impacts on health related problems, it is also associated with negative unwanted and/or unexpected secondary effects.
For health care service providers it is often a practical challenge to find the best possible balance between these positive and negative effects in individual patients and communities.
GIMS foundation focuses particularly on (I) improving therapeutic outcomes of medication use and on (II) preventing of what can be seen as medicine-related problems and it thus goes beyond what is usually covered by so-called pharmacovigilance agencies.
Pharmacovigilance (PV) is by the World Health Organisation defined as: ‘the science and activities relating to the detection, assessment, understanding and prevention of adverse drug effects or any other drug-related problem.’
Medicines have proven to be effective in realising health improvements in individuals and communities in health area’s like (non)-communicable diseases and vaccination programs. Besides their general positive effects though, when prescribed, dispensed and used under less favourable conditions (as can often be found in Low – & Middle Income countries) serious health risks and diminished therapeutic outcomes are also introduced.
Pharmaceutical and other health care professionals, when adequately functioning within the context relevant domains of Knowledge, Attitudes and Practise (KAP), will have serious positive impacts on the improvement of desired therapeutic outcomes while reducing at the same time the potential health risks originating from the use of medicines.
The GIMS foundation has been established with the purpose of researching, developing and offering practical approaches and support, with a focus on pharmaceutical professionals, that contributes to the best possible balance between the positive and the negative effects of the use of medicines.
As GIMS foundation we believe that pharmaceutical professionals can make the difference in achieving the best possible therapeutic outcomes and at the same time improving medication safety on a broad scale. They should play a vital and more leading role in improving therapeutic results, protecting patients and communities from serious medication related health risks.
To achieve the mission for pharmaceutical professionals providing their relevant contributions to medication safety, the GIMS foundation focuses upon:
-Strengthen (national organisations of) pharmaceutical professionals taking their responsibility for the domains of ‘Knowledge, Attitudes and Practises’,
-Provide consultancies and implement improvements concerning national pharmaceutical policies, structures, processes, medication systems and technological tools involved in the prescription, dispensing and use of medication,
-Stimulate, initiate and undertake (practice oriented) research in cooperation with (international) academia into the theme of Medication Safety,
-Advocate that pharmaceutical industry has a co-responsibility and interest, as a system player, in working together with all other stake-holders on Medication Safety and Therapeutic Outcome improvements.