Improving access to quality health care has been identified as an international development priority. Strengthening health systems is one of the areas of focus for bringing about this change. Pharmaceuticals are an important element of a functioning health system. They complement other types of health-care services, and can reduce illness and death rates and enhance quality of life. Yet, despite many efforts to make the most essential medicines accessible to all, an estimated one third of the global population does not have regular access to them. Many factors contribute to this tremendous challenge; lack of transparency and accountability being one of them.