(2003; 82 pages)
Health Economics and Drugs
EDM Series No. 14
The WHO Department of Essential Drugs and Medicines Policy (EDM) seeks 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 drugs are safe, effective and of good quality; and that they are prescribed and used rationally. It provides operational support to countries in the development and implementation of national drug policies based on the concept of essential drugs and it promotes the rational use of drugs at every level.
Health economics is of increasing relevance in the formulation and development of national drug policies that promote equity and rationalize the use of community and state resources. In many countries the new economic context and the global increase in pharmaceutical prices has highlighted the socio-economic aspects of drug use and accessibility. In this process, national drug policies have evolved from a primarily technical and pharmacological focus to encompass social and economic dimensions.
The Health Economics Series provides an orientation and an analysis of key issues. It aims to provide drug policy makers, planners and managers with the information and practical tools needed for policy development within this wider context.