Since its launch in 1994 the WHO Guide to Good prescribing (GGP) and the accompanying Teachers Guide to Good Prescribing (2002) (TGGP) have grown to be the main documents to teach problem-based pharmacotherapy. The guide has been translated in 24 languages and local editions. Now, 25 years later, we have reviewed the need to update these documents.
They remain important due to ongoing irrational medicine use, growing problems with unavailability of medicines and the lack of similar documents. Moreover, 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. However, there is a lack of connection with recent developments such as internet and new educational insights. The initial introduction and dissemination has been successful, but may aid from more support and cooperation. Therefore, we aim to revise the GGP and TGGP.

Revision project

The project will be performed by RECIPE (Research and Expertise Center in Pharmacotherapy Education), Department Internal Medicine, Amsterdam UMC, location VU University Medical Center, in close collaboration with the WHO. The project leaders are Ass. Prof. Jelle Tichelaar, Ass. Prof. Milan Richir (both Amsterdam UMC) and Dr. Sarah Garner (WHO Europe). Relevant stakeholders such as EACPT and IUPHAR will be asked to advise or support the project, for example in committees, or advisory boards or by contributing to the revision.

Reach consensus on the aims and need for revision (2019/2020)

With the use of an online survey, we aim to determine what parts of the GGP and TGGP require revision

Revise the actual guides (2020/2021)

During the second phase we will revise the GGP and TGGP, naturally a contemporary online version will be included.

Disseminate (2021/2023)

During this last phase we will disseminate, evaluate and optimize the use of the GGP and TGPP.

We need your help for the revision!

Please take a moment to fill out the short questionnaire below or get in touch via e-mail.

The 6-step method:


Step 1: Define the patient's problem

The treatment choice starts where the diagnostic process ends: with a clearly defined patient problem.

Step 2: Specify the therapeutic objective

Specifying a clear therapeutic objective will prevent unnecessary drug use and discussing this with the patient is the basis for informed and shared decision making.

Step 3: Choose and verify your P-drug / treatment

Your P-drug / treatment should be suitable for the patient (effective, safe and convenient) and cost-efficient.

Step 4: Write a prescription or administer the drug

This should be done according to local regulations and standards.

Step 5: Give information, instructions and warnings

Correct and sufficient information is both lawfully required and essential to therapy compliance.

Step 6: Monitor (and stop?) the therapy

It is important to monitor for effectivenes, adverse drug events and convenience.