The concept of WHO Country Medicines Advisers was established more than a decade ago in the WHO Regional Office for the Americas (AMRO). Since 2002, a network of 14 Medicines Advisers has been established in the WHO African Region. Technical and administrative support to Medicines Advisers is provided by Regional Advisers and by the medicines departments at WHO headquarters—the Department of Medicines Policy and Standards (PSM) and the Department of Technical Cooperation for Essential Drugs and Traditional Medicines (TCM). The support provided by the WHO Medicines Advisers to countries has led to a more intense collaboration with Member States on medicines issues and to a more speedy development and implementation of medicines policies in countries. The concept of WHO Medicines Advisers is currently being expanded to the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region, the WHO South-East Asia Region and the WHO Western Pacific Region. Planning and evaluation meetings are held each year for Medicines Advisers for the African and PAHO Regions.
This meeting, the First Global Meeting for WHO Regional and Country Medicines Advisers, brought together for the first time Medicines Advisers from all WHO Regions. It provided a unique opportunity for staff working on medicines issues at global, regional and country levels to meet and exchange experiences on WHO work in countries and for discussing priorities and approach for the WHO Medicines Strategy (WMS) 2008–2013.