- Keywords > access to affordable essential medicines
- Keywords > access to health technologies
- Keywords > access to medicines
- Keywords > advocacy
- Keywords > innovation and access
- Keywords > pharmaceutical research and development (R&D)
- Keywords > policy - priority issues
- Keywords > safety and efficacy
- Keywords > universal health coverage (UHC)
- Keywords > WHO Revised Drug Strategy
(2015; 16 pages) [French]
The new 2030 agenda, summarised in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), sets a clear path for future action by placing equity and universal health coverage on centre stage. The health goal, SDG 3 - ‘Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages’ – underscores the importance of access to medical products by aspiring to:
- End the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other communicable diseases by 2030
- Achieve universal health coverage, and provide access to safe and effective vaccines and medicines for all
- Support the research and development of vaccines and medicines for the communicable and non-communicable diseases that primarily affect developing countries, provide access to affordable essential medicines and vaccines.
The moment is favourable for a sustained global effort to expand access to medical products and save and improve lives.
The vision of the WHO Essential Medicines and Health Products Department (EMP) is closely aligned with SDG 3 by striving for a world where every child, man and woman can afford and has access to the quality medicines and health products they need to lead a healthy and productive life.
Built on three main pillars – access, innovation and regulation – EMP offers guidance, technical assistance and capacity building to promote access to quality treatment at affordable costs, while also incentivizing innovation and the development of vaccines, medicines and diagnostics based on public health needs. In addition, the department develops international standards for the manufacturing and regulation of medical products and contributes to the harmonisation of these to ensure their quality and facilitate their availability on globalised markets. EMP further aids the global health community by providing a range of services to international agencies involved in the purchase and supply of health products and to manufacturers. Those services include:
- Assessment of diagnostics, medicines and vaccines purchased by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, UNICEF and UNFPA, thereby ensuring that donor investments are well spent
- Advising on selection and use of essential medicines and medical devices for better and more cost-effective public health outcomes.