Essential medicines and health products

Human Resources for the Pharmaceutical Sector

The pharmaceutical workforce: a vital role to play

There are critical shortages in human resources for health around the world. As policymakers grapple with the crisis, they often overlook the particular importance of an adequate pharmaceutical workforce. The development, production, distribution and appropriate utilization of medicines, as well as the supportive functions of regulation, operational research, and training, all require the involvement of competent pharmaceutical professionals. The successful execution of these activities is essential to a strong health system and, therefore, population health.
See: Global Pharmacy Workforce Report

The need for evidence

The first step in developing successful strategies to build the capacity of human resources in the pharmaceutical sector, is to fill the gap in evidence. The WHO Department of Medicines and Health Products has developed an assessment tool to enable countries to quantify available pharmaceutical human resources and identify key human resource issues.
See: Pharmaceutical Human Resources Assessment Tool (English and French)

Evaluating human resources in the pharmaceutical sector

This assessment tool has been used in Haiti and four African countries: Ghana, Nigeria, Sudan, and United Republic of Tanzania. After a broad-based consultation process on how to translate the findings into action, each participant country produced its own Strategic Framework for Human Resources in the Pharmaceutical Sector.

Case Study: Ghana