Essential medicines and health products

Country and Regional Medicines Projects

Strengthening pharmaceutical systems to improve access to quality medicines

Expanding access to medicines involves a series of policy developments and reforms in countries’ pharmaceutical systems. These include up-to-date essential medicines lists, policies on responsible prescription and use of medicines, functioning supply chains and effective regulatory oversight. In 2004 WHO partnered with the EU and the African Caribbean and Pacific Group of States Secretariat (ACP) to provide strategic and technical support to 77 ACP countries, spanning three continents, to expand access to quality essential medicines. The partnership has evolved and with additional EU funding is now focusing on strengthening the pharmaceutical systems of 15 African countries by providing expertise, knowledge, guidance and training to pharmacists and healthcare policy makers until end 2016.

Country and regional medicines projects

WHO coordinates projects that support countries to develop, implement, and monitor national policies and practices and strengthen pharmaceutical systems. The goal: to ensure that high quality essential medicines are available, affordable and used appropriately. We help countries set and agree their medicines priorities, draw up and implement plans, and monitor and evaluate them. We encourage collaboration between countries to improve quality, selection and use, and to increase availability and affordability of medicines. We promote transparency and good governance, and advocate a coordinated, multi-stakeholder approach that involves the private sector, civil society, academic and other partners.

Good Governance for Medicines

The Good Governance for Medicines programme aims to contribute to health systems strengthening by promoting good governance in the pharmaceutical sector. 36 countries and territories have participated in the programme since its inception in 2004.

Medicines Transparency Alliance Initiative

The MeTA initiative aims to improve access to quality-assured essential medicines in low-income countries through a multi-stakeholder collaboration involving representatives of the public sector, the private sector and civil society. Participating countries include Ghana, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Peru, the Philippines, Uganda and Zambia.



Dr. Gilles Forte
Team Coordinator
Medicines Policy, Governance, Information and Coordination
Department of Essential Medicines and Health Products
Avenue Appia 20 27 Geneva- CH-1211 Switzerland
+41 22 791 36 17