Finland is one of the few countries that has established a national Medicines Information (MI) Strategy. The ultimate goal of the strategy is a well-implemented medication use process resulting in well-informed adherent patients. This study aimed at evaluating the implementation of the strategy 3?years after its launch.
The evaluation applied a pragmatic approach and was conducted by interviewing stakeholders involved in the National MI Network enhancing the MI Strategy's implementation. The network comprises national key stakeholders producing and using MI. Data were deductively analysed according to the medication use process of the MI Strategy using the framework method, complemented with inductively derived categories.
National implementation of the MI Strategy throughout the healthcare system after the first operational period (2012-2014) in 2015.
The members of the National MI Network (n=79/111, participation rate 71%, representing 42/53 stakeholder organisations).
A new conceptual framework was developed based on stakeholders' views on well-implemented actions and actions needing development in the medication use process at (1) infrastructure (macro), (2) healthcare professionals (meso) and (3) patient (micro) levels.
Medication counselling by community pharmacists was the primary implemented action, followed by physicians' actions while starting a new medication, and advice given by nurses. The major development needs concerned (1) poor access to patient information and its transfer in healthcare, particularly the lack of reconciled medication lists and electronic health records (macro); (2) poorly functioning medication use process in home care and social care units, such as nursing homes (meso); and (3) limited patient involvement in their care (micro).
Far more actions for development than well-established practices in the medication use process were identified. Major challenges found in this evaluation are considered in the ongoing Rational Pharmacotherapy Action Plan 2018-2022 by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.