The World Medicines Situation Report, 2011
Medicines play a major role in protecting, maintaining and restoring people’s health. The provision of appropriate medicines of assured quality, in adequate quantities and at reasonable prices is therefore a concern of global and national policy makers and agencies implementing health activities and programmes.
Since 1975, achievements have been made in improving access to essential medicines. Special attention was given to developing countries where problems in ensuring equitable access to quality assured medicines and promoting rational use have persisted despite efforts by governments, development agencies and WHO. Reforms in health sector financing, globalization and periods of economic recession have impacted on securing access to essential medicines.
In 1988 and again in 2004, the World Health Organization published reports on the World Medicines Situation. The first report was brief and described the beginning of the Essential Medicines movement. In 2004, a more comprehensive report was issued which contained nine chapters that reviewed all aspects of medicines in both developed and developing countries.
In 2009, the decision was made to produce a third edition of the World Medicines Situation Report. Current efforts to document and improve sharing of information have paved the way to accessing information that was not possible a decade ago, such as disaggregated data on pharmaceutical expenditures, consumption, drug prices and insights on policies and impacts on improving access to medicines. The aim of this publication is to gather relevant information comprehensively in a single site and publication.
This report contains chapters each written by different authors, covering topics related to production and consumption, innovation, and safety. There are chapters about selection, procurement, supply management, rational use, financing and pricing. There are cross cutting chapters related to household medicines use, access and human rights, good governance, human resources and national medicines policies.
The process for producing these chapters involved identifying lead authors who frequently created teams to work with them. After a first draft was produced, there was an extensive review process involving members of the WHO Expert panel, WHO country staff, academics and staff of NGO's who work on essential medicines issues.
The 2011 report contains a collection of a wide range of data and information and is being published electronically.