(2003; 67 pages)
EDM Research Series No. 30
The Department of Essential Drugs and Medicines Policy (EDM) of the World Health Organization works to ensure that all people ⊥ wherever they may be ⊥ are able to obtain the drugs they need at a price that they and their country can afford, that these medicines are safe
Ensuring access to and rational use of medicines for all people is a difficult goal in itself, especially given today’s rapidly changing macroeconomic and national environments. Countries are experiencing the impacts of structural adjustment policies, globalization of world markets and new disease patterns. Widespread health system reforms with shifting priorities, and the changing relationship between the public and private sectors, further complicate this picture. Additionally, many governments lack crucial information to guide their national medicines policies in response to these challenges.
But operational research is making a vital contribution to identifying global and national drug sector problems and priority areas for intervention. At global level, the systematic development and analysis of internationally comparable data on pharmaceutical systems is enabling countries to learn from each other's experience and to strengthen their national drug policies. At the same time, national research is helping countries to analyse and overcome the constraints they face in developing and implementing these policies.
This document is just one in a series of research guidelines and studies that are helping to reduce the burden of disease and provide access to responsive health care for all.
Department of Essential Drugs and Medicines Policy, World Health Organization, 1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland