Essential medicines and health products

Medicines policy


WHO recommends that all countries formulate and implement a comprehensive national medicines policy. WHO supports Member States to develop, implement and monitor the effectiveness of national medicines policies, guidelines, strategies and plans that ensure the availability, affordability and rational use of essential medicines that are safe, effective and of good quality.


Policy briefs

WHO develops policy briefs on key medicines and health technology issues with the aim of assisting those who develop and implement policy, to better understand the issue and policy options available.


Every year WHO organizes a number of Technical Briefing Seminars with the aim of providing a technical update on a range of medicines and health product issues and programmatic approaches.


The WHO Department of Essential Medicines and Health Products acts as the secretariat for the Interagency Pharmaceutical Coordination (IPC) group, an informal group of international agencies involved in the development and implementation of medicines and health products policies and programmes. The aim of the IPC group is to facilitate coordination amongst international agencies, partners and donors and to support information sharing and joint actions for better access to and use of quality assured, affordable medicines and health products.

Examples of National Medicines Policies

A collection of National Medicines Policies have been published in the WHO Department of Essential Medicines and Health Products Information Portal as a public sub-collection. Individual National Medicines Policies can also be found through the search engine of the Portal.

Medicines policy-related World Health Assembly resolutions and WHO Secretariat reports

Related topics

Archived resources