Essentials medicines, one of the WHO’s health topics, are those that satisfy the priority health care needs of the population. Essential medicines are intended to be available at all times as part of a functioning health system in sufficient amounts, in the appropriate dosage forms, with assured quality and appropriate information, and at a price that individuals and the community can afford.
Even in first world countries, shortages of basic and essential medicines occur for a number of different reasons. For example, physicians may need a particular medicine for palliative care and find that the dosage form required is not available. Thus, there is a clear need for a database in which information for compounding essential medicines is provided.
Such a database was initiated by Dr. Peter Frauch. For more than 30 years Dr. Frauch collected information on medical compounds while working in a hospital pharmacy in Switzerland. His aim was to provide compounding information on essential and other important medicines that are mainly processed by hospital pharmacies in developing countries with a restricted health budget. With this information, health care professionals in hospital pharmacies are able to compound drugs themselves in cases of shortage or non-availability.
After many years of co-working with Dr. Frauch, the Pharmaceutical Technology group at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) has taken over the project with a view to ensuring its continuity, with the assistance of Dr. Frauch as a highly valued consultant.