The International Network for Rational Use of Drugs (INRUD) was established in 1989 to design, test, and disseminate effective strategies to improve the way drugs are prescribed, dispensed, and used, with a particular emphasis on resource poor countries.

The network now comprises 25 groups—20 from Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe, and other groups from the World Health Organization/Medicines Policy and Standards, the Harvard Medical School Department of Ambulatory Care, the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, and a secretariat based in Management Sciences for Health in the United States.

A key responsibility for any health program or organization is ensuring that high-quality essential drugs are available, affordable, and used rationally. For both health systems and individuals, pharmaceuticals represent a major expenditure. Misuse of scarce resources makes a difficult situation even worse. To improve this situation, it is crucial to improve the use of medicines. INRUD's mission is to identify the best ways of improving their use and to disseminate these findings.

The INRUD secretariat now receives financial support primarily from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). Historically, INRUD has been funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Danish International Development Agency with ad hoc support from other donors, including the Pew Charitable Trusts and the World Health Organization Medicines Policy and Standards.

Current member groups include Bangladesh, CambodiaChinaEthiopia, Ghana,India—Delhi StateIndia—TamilNadu State, Indonesia, KenyaKyrgyzstanMoldova, Nepal, Nigeria, Peru, Philippines, Sweden, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda, United States, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe. The most recent members (since 2001) are in boldface.