How to Develop and Implement a National Drug Policy - WHO Policy Perspectives on Medicines, No. 006, January 2003
(2003; 6 pages) [French] [Spanish] View the PDF document
Table of Contents
View the documentWhat is a national drug policy?
View the documentObjectives of a national drug policy
View the documentThe essential medicine concept is central to a national drug policy
View the documentThe national drug policy process
Close this folderKey components of a national drug policy
View the documentSelection of essential medicines
View the documentAffordability
View the documentFinancing options
View the documentSupply systems
View the documentRegulation and quality assurance
View the documentRational use
View the documentResearch
View the documentHuman resources development
View the documentMonitoring and evaluation
View the documentKey documents
 

Key components of a national drug policy

A national drug policy is a comprehensive framework in which each component plays an important role in achieving one or more of the general objectives of the policy (access, quality and rational use). The policy should balance the various goals and objectives, creating a complete and consistent entity. For example, access to essential medicines can only be achieved through rational selection, affordable prices, sustainable financing and reliable health and supply systems. Each of the four components of the “access frame-work” is essential but not sufficient in itself to ensure access. Similarly, rational use of medicines depends on many factors, such as rational selection, regulatory measures, educational strategies and financial incentives. Table 1 lists the key components of a national drug policy. It shows how they relate to the three main objectives of the policy and that most components cannot be linked to one objective only.

Table 1 Components of a national drug policy, linked to key policy objectives

 

Objectives:

 

Access

Quality

Rational use

Components:

     

Selection of essential medicines

X

(X)

X

Affordability

X

   

Financing options

X

   

Supply systems

X

 

(X)

Regulation and quality assurance

 

X

X

Rational use

   

X

Research

X

X

X

Human resources

X

X

X

Monitoring and evaluation

X

X

X

 

X = direct link; (X) = indirect link

 

to previous section
to next section
 
 
The WHO Essential Medicines and Health Products Information Portal was designed and is maintained by Human Info NGO. Last updated: October 7, 2014