Priority Assistive Products List. Improving Access to Assistive Technology for Everyone, Everywhere
(2016; 16 pages) [Arabic] [Chinese] [French] [Russian] [Spanish]


WHO estimates that over one billion people need one or more assistive products. The majority of these are older people and people with disabilities. As people age, including those with disabilities, their function declines in multiple areas and their need for assistive products increases accordingly. As the global population progressively ages and prevalence of noncommunicable diseases rises, the number of people needing assistive products is projected to increase to beyond two billion by 2050.

Today, even before the predicted steep increases in need for assistive products are established, only around 10% of those in need have access to them. This is due to high costs, limited availability and inadequate financing in many settings, as well as a widespread lack of awareness and suitably trained personnel.

To improve access to high quality, affordable assistive products in all countries, the World Health Organization (WHO) is introducing the Priority Assistive Products List (APL). The APL is the first stage of implementing a global commitment to improve access to assistive products – the Global Cooperation on Assistive Technology (GATE).

The APL includes 50 priority assistive products, selected on the basis of widespread need and impact on a person’s life. The list will not be restrictive; the aim is to provide Member States with a model from which to develop a national priority assistive products list according to national need and available resources. Like the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines, the APL can also be used to guide product development, production, service delivery, market shaping, procurement, and reimbursement policies (including insurance coverage).

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