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Abstract

Nowadays, advanced information technology (IT) has played a key role in all processes of drug supply chain as well as in the national health insurance system. However, the situation of pharmaceutical information systems in Thailand has not been scrutinized and revised since 2002. This study aimed to review and analyze the current situation of data and pharmaceutical information systems in Thailand as well as to propose recommendations for future development. The study was conducted by reviewing relevant literature and websites in conjunction with organizing semi-structured interviews. The result of the study indicated that in Thailand, the emphasis on an application of IT to efficiently maximize information management and usage had become the national strategic focal point. In general, data and pharmaceutical information systems were sparsely managed by multiple authorized bodies in Ministry of Public Health and could be publicly accessed. Drug information systems in healthcare facilities and the national health insurance system had been continuously improved and employed for efficiency enhancement in the management and service provision with the goal to achieve desired outcomes of drug and health systems. Regarding future directions for national development, the focus should be on improving the lack of the necessary foundations. The main point was to establish a primary body responsible for the development of the national pharmaceutical information system in all aspects: relevant laws
and regulations should be appropriately developed, and personnel should be sufficiently allocated to relevant tasks and undergo IT skill development. Additionally, there should be a formal development of the standard drug codes and standards for data linkages among related organizations. Applications of modern technologies to be able to link and exchange health information efficiently, safely, and seamlessly as well as development of platforms and databases for research purposes should be considered as key focuses.