(1998; 49 pages) [French] [Spanish]
Health Economics and Drugs
DAP Series No. 6
In 1981 WHO’s Action Programme on Essential Drugs was established to provide operational support to countries in the development of national drug policies based on essential drugs and to work towards the rational use of drugs.
The Programme 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.
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.
Action Programme on Essential Drugs
World Health Organization, 1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland