Local Production for Access to Medical Products: Developing a Framework to Improve Public Health
(2011; 78 pages)


This report forms part of the project entitled “Improving access to medicines in developing countries through technology transfer and local production”. It is implemented by the Department of Public Health Innovation and Intellectual Property of the World Health Organization (WHO/PHI) in partnership with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD), with funding from the European Union (EU).

The aim of this work was to develop a framework that could bring together and guide policy-makers and others from all these relevant fields. The framework presented here provides an entry point for supporting the local production of medicines, vaccines and diagnostics in a manner that should improve access to those medical products maximizing the potential to improve public health.

The project itself is in two phases. Phase 1 of the project concentrated on identifying the main challenges and obstacles to local production and related technology transfer in developing and least-developed countries. The project involved commissioned literature reviews to describe the current landscape and historical and current trends; regional workshops with a broad range of stakeholders; and in-country work to investigate and describe a series of company-focused case studies from low- and middle-income countries. This document seeks to provide an overview of these findings in a style that is accessible to all readers and summarizes the issues at a high level. It is based on the ongoing work and wider evidence on the issues of local production and access to medical products from the wider literature available on the topic. For a more detailed discussion of the trends in local production, and the methods, analysis and findings from Phase 1, readers should be guided by the references throughout this document and the series of reports available for free download from the WHO web site.

In phase 2, the framework, as it develops, will be used to guide the actions of WHO and its partners in support of local production within developing and least developed countries.

The WHO Essential Medicines and Health Products Information Portal was designed and is maintained by Human Info NGO. Last updated: December 1, 2019