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Annual Report 2002 - Essential Drugs and Medicines Policy: Supporting Countries to Close the Access Gap
(2003; 20 pages) [French] [Spanish] Ver el documento en el formato PDF
Índice de contenido
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Ver el documentoKey country support in Africa and Eastern Mediterranean
Ver el documentoWHO Collaborating Centres: supplying active support for medicines work
Ver el documentoHow is TRIPS affecting access to medicines?
Ver el documentoDevelopment of the essential drugs concept over the past 25 years
Ver el documentoMeasuring access to antimalarials
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Ver el documentoLearning from successful supply systems
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Ver el documentoSupporting MDG target on access to essential medicines
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Ver el documentoNGO toolkit for improving access to HIV/AIDS treatment
Ver el documentoHarmonizing medicines regulation in the Americas
Ver el documentoGood manufacturing practice in China: rapid progress
Ver el documentoPharmacovigilance: detecting and reporting adverse drug reactions
Ver el documentoVariations in prescribing information in 26 countries
Ver el documento10th ICDRA: an international basis for medicines regulation
Ver el documentoFighting poor-quality drugs
Ver el documentoImproving medicines use in hospitals in Cambodia and Lao PDR
Ver el documentoWHO-India Essential Drugs Programme: multiplying impact
Ver el documentoOman: improving antibiotic use in primary health care

Annual Report 2002 - Essential Drugs and Medicines Policy: Supporting Countries to Close the Access Gap


In each WHO region, areas of support are tailored to specific country needs

Policy: implementation and monitoring

Access: public sector drug supply

Quality: medicines regulation, quality assurance and activities to fight anti-counterfeit medicines

Rational use: essential medicines lists, treatment guidelines

The year 2002 marked the 25th anniversary of the first WHO Model List of Essential Medicines. It also marked the 25th annual meeting of the WHO International Monitoring Network for Medicines Safety. In 25 years, much has been achieved: 100 countries have national drug policies in place or under development; 156 countries have national or provincial essential medicines lists; 135 countries have turned the essential medicines concept into clinical practice with national treatment guidelines and/or formulary manuals; over 90 countries have introduced the essential drugs concept into curricula for medicine and pharmacy students; the WHO Programme for International Drug Monitoring now includes 76 member and associate member countries; and a major global effort has been launched to assure medicines quality. Most significantly, the number of people estimated to have regular access to essential drugs has risen from 2.1 billion in 1977 to over 4 billion today.

But despite these gains, a huge unfinished agenda remains. Roughly two billion people - one-third of the world’s population - still lacks regular access to essential medicines of affordable price and assured quality. Irrational use of medicines, unfair financing, unreliable delivery systems, inadequate regulatory systems and high medicines prices are critical factors in this access gap.

This report focuses on WHO country support activities aimed at closing the access gap. In line with the WHO Medicines Strategy, WHO provided support to countries on: medicines regulation, quality assurance and anti-counterfeit activities (69 countries); rational use of medicines by health professionals (54); public sector drug supply (54); overall national drug policy development and monitoring (41); medicines financing and pricing (27); improving medicines use by consumers (25); and setting of pharmaceutical norms and standards (21). This support included training in these areas to nearly 900 health professionals.

WHO supported comprehensive medicines programmes in 22 countries, specific technical support in 85 countries and situation analysis in 6 countries. Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Cape Verde, China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Ethiopia, Haiti, India, Indonesia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Myanmar, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, South Africa and Sudan received the most intensive support in financial terms.

Country experiences reported here confirm that when sound policies and guidelines are actively implemented, substantial improvements can be achieved in affordability, availability, quality and rational use of medicines. Progress is often greatest when local officials and development partners work closely together.

Dr Anarfi Asamoa-Baah, Executive Director
Health Technology and Pharmaceuticals
Dr Jonathan Quick, Director
Essential Drugs and Medicines Policy

Nearly 900 health professionals around the world received training in medicines areas through 28 regional and international courses and workshops, covering all six official UN languages

WHO provided direct support on essential drugs and medicines policy to 113 countries, of which 22 benefited from comprehensive programmes


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