Policy and technical support to countries continues to be WHO's largest area of activity in pharmaceuticals. Direct support is provided in response to countries' expressed wish to develop their pharmaceutical services. In addition, many donors have been keen to use WHO's health and pharmaceutical expertise when providing their own country support.
Normative work is equally demand driven, and evidence-based. For example, the First Model List of Essential Drugs was developed in response to numerous country requests for pharmaceutical sector assistance.
At the same time, though, country work is a fundamental resource for WHO. Only by undertaking such work can the Organization develop its evidence and knowledge base, and maintain its level of health expertise.
Placing countries - with their needs and the experience they provide - at the core of all WHO's pharmaceutical work is essential.