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J Korean Med Assoc > Volume 47(2); 2004 > Article
Journal of the Korean Medical Association 2004;47(2):156-162.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5124/jkma.2004.47.2.156   
Drug Utilization Review
Sang Cheol Bae
Department of Internal Medicine, Section for Clinical Epidemiology and Economics, Hanyang University College of Medicine and the Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases, Korea. scbae@hanyang.ac.kr
Drug utilization review (DUR) is one of the approaches to improve quality of health care and reduce its costs. DUR programs have been defined as "structured, ongoing initiatives that interpret patterns of drug use in relation to predetermined criteria, attempting to prevent or to minimize inappropriate prescribing while maximizing the effectiveness of drug therapy to save costs." There have been a limited number of papers to evaluate the economic consequences of DUR programs, and they provide no definite evidence regarding the cost saving or costeffectiveness of the programs. A possible explanation for this would be that DUR might not be awarded a high priority, resulting in reduced opportunities for financing to DUR including development of a good program and its evaluation study. However, despite these problems, in Korea simple descriptive studies of drug utilization and the development of effective intervention strategies must start and continue in order to optimize drug therapy and to save costs in health care. Pharmacoeconomic studies are employed to measure drug efficiencies, through comparison of the costs and effects of alternative therapies. Theses studies can uncover the economics repercussions of inappropriate prescribing and quantify the cost effectiveness of various DUR interventions. The use of DUR in conjunction with pharmacoeconomic analysis will result in more costeffective and rational utilization of medicines. Both methods could be used in a complementary fashion. In conclusion, DUR processes will lead to the better utilization of drugs, based on improved economic and social performance.
Key Words: Drug utilization review, Cost, Effectiveness, Economics, Pharmacoeconomics


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