Welcome to the website of the Dutch Institute for Rational Use of Medicine. On this page you can read more information about our organisation: what we stand for, our mission, our products and services, our clients and partners. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. We are happy to help you.


Dutch Institute for Rational Use of Medicine (IVM)


P.O. Box 3089
3502 GB Utrecht
The Netherlands


Telephone: +31 (0)888 800 400
Fax: +31 (0)888 800 404

Visiting address:

Churchilllaan 11
3527 GV Utrecht
The Netherlands

Office opening hours:
The IVM is open from Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Questions from the press:
Telephone: +31 (0)888 800 400

About us

To ensure that everyone receives good and safe medication, sound knowledge about the use, prescription and delivery of medication is essential. The Dutch Institute for Rational Use of Medicine (IVM) is the place to come for this knowledge. We are specialised in the distribution of information and solutions for the proper, safe, affordable and effective use of medicine. The IVM provides information from an unbiased perspective. Our aim is to help healthcare professionals become even better at their work so that patients benefit as much as possible.

The advisors who work at the IVM know their field inside and out: doctors, pharmacists, other medical professionals and experts in the area of medication processes. We carry out assignments from a social perspective, without commercial or professional interests. The Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, care providers, health insurers, care institutions, patients’ organisations and professional organisations are major customers of our products and services. We work together with international organisations like Healthy Skepticism International (HSI) and the World Health Organisation (WHO). The healthcare professionals working for the IVM can also be seconded, including to assignments abroad. Their knowledge and expertise is used in various organisations to improve medication safety and the medication process, among other things. We teach international organisations how they can contribute to the proper, safe and affordable use of medicine in their own country.

In 1995, the Foundation for the Effective Provision of Medication (Stichting DGV) was established. We receive an institutional subsidy from the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport but also have a large number of other clients, such as care providers and health insurers. In 2010, the foundation was renamed: the Dutch Institute for Rational Use of Medicine (IVM). Ruud Coolen van Brakel has been the director of the IVM since 2000.

Would you like to know more about the IVM, our products and service or our secondment possibilities? Feel free to contact us.

Products and services

The Dutch Institute for Rational Use of Medicine (IVM) offers a large selection of products and services in the area of:

Monitoring of prescription behaviour

The IVM monitors the prescription behaviour of general practitioners and also makes individual prescription data understandable to general practitioners. Using the monitoring data, we help general practitioners improve their prescription behaviour. We do this primarily during the Pharmaceutical Therapeutic Audit Meetings (PTAM), a structural meeting between general practitioners and pharmacists about prescription policy. The IVM also provides assistance at other primary care meetings. The work performed by the IVM to improve prescription behaviour can be summarised by 3 types of products and services:

  • Monitor for the prescription behaviour of general practitioners
  • Insight into prescription behaviour
  • Support for general practitioners
Instruction and training for healthcare professionals

With instruction and training, healthcare professionals can update and enlarge their knowledge in the area of medication, medication safety and patient safety. These courses are designed for various healthcare professionals: general practitioners, pharmacists, physician assistants, nurse specialists, nurse practitioners and other nursing and care professionals. The training courses provided by the IVM are for care professionals in home care, services for the disabled and mental healthcare. Customised training courses developed and provided by the IVM are independent and accredited by the relevant professional organisations. All refresher courses and e-learning courses are given in Dutch. On request, we can also develop training courses in different languages.

Information for patients

The IVM develops informational materials for patients on behalf of patients’ associations, healthcare professionals, professional organisations, interest groups, health insurers and public bodies.  We work together with experienced developers, web designers, copywriters and communication experts. The goal is to help patients use their medication properly, as this benefits their health. Among other things, the IVM develops:

  • Folders and brochures
  • Informative websites
  • Lectures, training courses and workshops
  • Public campaigns
  • Applications, games and other informational materials
Medicational and organisational advice

In order to provide good advice to care institutions, a thorough practical study often must be performed. Particularly because of the many mergers, reorganisations and personnel shortages, there are always trouble points within the medication process. The IVM analyses how work is done at departments and/or locations and identifies the trouble points and risks within the medication process. Is work being done in accordance with the current laws and regulations? How large is the chance of medication errors? The IVM can also help to set up the medication process efficiently or study how the distribution policy of medications within a care institution can be optimised.

MedicijnBalans (‘Medicine Balance’)

MedicijnBalans (‘Medicine Balance') is a programme of the IVM in which a number of new medications are scrutinised. These are medications that are new on the market or for which the indication is being expanded. The IVM is working together with assessment bodies, professional organisations, marketing authorisation holders and knowledge institutions to collect and distribute information about the new medications. The IVM compiles all the information about a medication. This produces a neutral, complete and objective picture that the IVM or experts in the particular medication can pass on to doctors and other interested parties. For more information about all researched medications and the forum, go to MedicijnBalans.

Laatst gewijzigd op 31 oktober 2018

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