A conference on Increasing Access to Essential Drugs in a Globalized Economy: Working Towards Solutions was organized by Médecins Sans Frontières, Health Action International, and Consumer Project on Technology in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on November 25-26, 1999.
Access to essential drugs is of importance to the World Health Organization whose longstanding aim is to ensure equity of access and rational use of essential drugs of quality. This underpins the fundamental right to health care by all people. WHO has made tangible progress towards securing this right but there is still a long way to go. As a result of the conference, a statement was prepared for presentation to the World Trade Organization (WTO) during their subsequent conference in Seattle calling on Member States to consider the needs of developing countries by strengthening TRIPS provisions with regard to public health priorities.