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The Selection of Essential Medicines - WHO Policy Perspectives on Medicines, No. 004, June 2002
(2002; 6 pages) [French] [Spanish] View the PDF document
Abstract
Essential medicines are those that satisfy the priority health care needs of the population. They are selected with due regard to public health relevance, evidence on efficacy and safety, and comparative cost-effectiveness. Essential medicines are intended to be available within the context of functioning health systems at all times in adequate amounts, in the appropriate dosage forms, with assured quality and adequate information, and at a price the individual and the community can afford. The implementation of the concept of essential medicines is intended to be flexible and adaptable to many different situations; exactly which medicines are regarded as essential remains a national responsibility. After immunization for common childhood illnesses, appropriate use of essential medicines is one of the most cost-effective components of modern health care. The selection of essential medicines is one of the core principles of a national drug policy because it helps to set priorities for all aspects of the pharmaceutical system. This is a global concept which can be applied in any country, in private and public sectors and at different levels of the health care system.
Table of Contents
View the documentThe concept of essential medicines
View the documentSelection of essential medicines
View the documentHow to develop a national list of essential medicines
View the documentHow to implement a national list of essential medicines
View the documentReference materials available from WHO
View the documentContacts at WHO Headquarters
View the documentContacts in WHO Regional Offices
 

The Selection of Essential Medicines - WHO Policy Perspectives on Medicines, No. 004, June 2002


June 2002
World Health Organization
Geneva

 

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