Essential Drugs Monitor No. 003 (1986)
(1986; 12 pages) [French] [Spanish]


The third issue of Essential Drugs Monitor focuses on the WHO Revised Drug Strategy, called by the Monitor’s editor as a “strategy for the future.” The overall goal of the strategy is to rationalize drug use in cooperation with the health professions, academia, the pharmaceutical industry, NGOs, and the public. In May 1986, the World Health Assembly approved the strategy by consensus. The strategy includes three main components: coordination by WHO to encourage all parties to discharge their responsibilities cooperatively, operations to promote and implement the Action Programme on Essential Drugs and Vaccines in Member States, and intensified WHO normative functions, such as issuing complete and unbiased information on all aspects of drugs. The Monitor opens with a summary of the Assembly’s discussion of the Revised Drug Strategy and the response from WHO. The strategy is outlined, including how WHO will encourage various actors to uphold its responsibilities and the role of the WHO Action Programme. The strategy also contains provisions regarding drug information, education, training, and research and describes the role of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Associations, the World Federation of Proprietary Medicine Manufacturers, and the International Organization of Consumers’ Unions.

The remainder of this issue covers national developments in essential drugs. An article by Dr. George Grant describes the work he has done with two colleagues from the Department of Family and Community Medicine at Newcastle University to develop a national formulary for general practitioners in the United Kingdom. Two short articles discuss national action programmes. In the first article, Dr. Guido Bertolaso, Head of the Medical Section of the Department for Developmental Coordination at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Italy, discusses the role the Italian Action Programme plays in aiding developing countries Africa and Asia. The second article outlines the new action plan on essential drugs in Zimbabwe and highlights its focus on a national retraining programme for prescribers and health workers. This Monitor also includes an interview with Dr. Mario Liebermann, Director-General of the Control of Inputs for Health for the Mexican Secretary of Health. In the interview, Liebermann explains how a financial crisis led to a revival of the Mexican pharmaceutical industry. The Newsdesk includes various features on courses and training workshops largely focused on rational use throughout the world and stories of international cooperation regarding essential drugs. The Monitor concludes with highlights of recent WHO projects, such as the issuance of guidelines for EPI injection equipment in collaboration with UNICEF.

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