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- Todos > Medicine Information and Evidence for Policy > Medicines Policy
(2014; 12 pages)
Global health is increasingly challenged by powerful forces such as demographic ageing, rapid urbanization, change in lifestyles caused by economic progress and the related growing burden of noncommunicable diseases, a steady rise in substandard/spurious/falsely-labelled/falsified/counterfeit medical products, coupled by an increasing number of players in the global health arena. In this context, the availability of clear and consistent evidence-based policies, advice and technical assistance to guide countries in their efforts to ensure access to safe and quality medical products and their rational use, become all the more important.
During the 2012–2013 biennium, WHO assisted more than 100 countries in the formulation and implementation of national policies and strategies for improving evidence-based selection and rational use of essential medical products, and supported over 120 countries to develop national plans and build capacities to regulate and ensure the quality and safety of medicines, diagnostics, medical devices, vaccines and biologicals. These efforts have been guided by the third WHO Medicines Strategy 2008–2013 and by requests from Member States for support in implementing actions agreed to in World Health Assembly and Executive Board resolutions. Fortunately, WHO draws on a strong network of collaborating partners in ministries of health, national regulatory agencies, academia, research and scientific institutions, regional economic groups, national and international nongovernmental and civil society organizations, United Nations agencies, international technical experts and a network of 50 national professional officers in governments worldwide.
Moving ahead under the 12th General Programme of Work 2014–2019, the Department of Essential Medicines and Health Products is responsible for one of six WHO leadership priorities: Access to medicines and health technologies and strengthening regulatory capacity. I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to all partners who have contributed during the past biennium and I look forward to engaging with existing and new partners in the development and implementation of the Strategic Action Plan for Essential Medicines and Health Products in 2014–2019.