- Medicine Information and Evidence for Policy > Medicines Policy
- Medicine Access and Rational Use > Rational Use
(1998; 113 pages)
DAP Research Series No. 26
The WHO Action Programme on Essential Drugs 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.
Ensuring access to and rational use of drugs for all people is a difficult goal in itself. It is made even more complicated to achieve by rapidly changing macro-economic and national environments. Countries are experiencing the effects of international adjustment and stabilization policies; globalization of world markets; new disease patterns; widespread health system reforms with shifting priorities, and a changing relationship between the public and private sectors. Governments lack crucial information to guide their national drug policies in response to these challenges.
Operational research makes 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 strengthen national drug policy by enabling countries to learn from each other’s experience. At national level, research assists countries in analysing the constraints they face in developing and implementing drug policies and in gaining knowledge about the best means of selecting, procuring and distributing drugs, as well as the use of drugs by prescribers and consumers. The results of such operational research have a direct bearing on strategies to make vital medicines available and accessible to the greatest number of people.
This document is part of a series reporting on the activities and results of the Action Programme’s operational research.
Action Programme on Essential Drugs
World Health Organization, 1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland