Why Have a National Drug Policy? Essential Drugs Monitor No. 005 (1987)
(1987; 1 page)


This article in the fifth edition of the Essential Drugs Monitor outlines the definition, components and benefits of a national drug policy. Different government groups involved in drug policy are the health, social welfare, industry, trade and finance ministries. Outside the government, there are pressure groups, commercial firms, the medical and allied professions, the scientific and academic communities and consumers’ associations. The health and social sectors can benefit from a national policy because it is focused on prevention, which reduces cost for these areas in the long run. Industry and trade sectors can benefit by expanding their markets, creating employment opportunities and improving the balance of payment through export or import substitution. The main components of a national drug policy are: drug selection and use, drug supply, quality assurance, manpower needs, legislation and regulatory control, financial resources, promotion and dissemination of information, evaluation and monitoring, and intersectoral collaboration. The summary concludes by stating “the main objective of a national drug policy should be for everyone to be able to get the most effective and safe medicinal products of established quality at the lowest possible cost”.

Abstract written by M. Tobin, 2013.

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