Evaluation of the Good Governance for Medicines Programme (2004–2012): Brief Summary of Findings
(2013; 12 pages)


The principal purpose of the first comprehensive evaluation of the World Health Organization (WHO) Good Governance for Medicines (GGM) programme covering the period 2004–2012 was to analyse experiences and identify in-country lessons after eight years of implementation. Given the WHO commitment to the goal of universal health coverage, and the central role of good governance in its achievement, the basic objectives of the GGM programme are highly pertinent and timely. The evaluation provides an opportunity to inform future work of countries, WHO and partners towards improving governance of the pharmaceutical sector. The importance of good governance for medicines is self-evident. According to the 2010 World health report, global health expenditure has reached US$ 4.1 trillion per year. Expenditure on pharmaceuticals accounts for some US$ 880 billion of this total. In most countries expenditure on pharmaceuticals comprises a large proportion of total health expenditure, both public and private. Effective management of pharmaceutical systems is therefore an essential element of wider health systems governance in order to ensure universal access to affordable, quality medicines and to prevent losses that may occur, including through unethical practices.

The basis for the GGM Programme is a series of WHO Medicines Strategies, beginning with the Second Strategy (2004–2007). The first of its four strategic priorities included "Promotion of ethical practices and development and use of anti-corruption measures in the pharmaceutical sector."

The specific objectives of the GGM Programme are to:

  • raise awareness of the impact of corruption in the pharmaceutical sector, and bring this to the national health policy agenda;
  • increase transparency and accountability in medicine regulatory and supply management systems;
  • promote individual and institutional integrity in the pharmaceutical sector;
  • institutionalize good governance in pharmaceutical systems by building national capacity and leadership.
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