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(2003; 20 pages) [French] [Spanish]
Supporting MDG target on access to essential medicines
The Millennium Development Goals (MDG) are an ambitious agenda for reducing poverty and improving lives that world leaders agreed on at the Millennium Summit in September 2000. For each goal one or more targets have been set - most for 2015, using 1990 as a benchmark. MDG target 17 is, “In co-operation with pharmaceutical companies, provide access to affordable essential drugs in developing countries” and the indicator for monitoring progress is “the proportion of population with access to affordable essential drugs on a sustainable basis”.
WHO's engagement to achieve the MDG access target involves four components. Helping countries achieve better prices is pursued through price information services and technical assistance on effective price regulation, as well as by enlarging the supplier base for essential drugs. Careful selection is supported through the Model List of Essential Medicines process, and its use at country and health facility level. Better medicine supply systems are supported by procurement information and advice. Strategies to raise and improve the fairness of medicines financing include providing guidance and technical support for ensuring subsidies for key medicines for poor people, and inclusion of drugs in expanded health insurance schemes.