Essential medicines and health products

Working with Countries and Regional Offices

Working with Countries

Working with countries on policy and technical issues has always been and continues to be the highest priority for WHO in the field of medicines. Country needs and experiences are at the core of all WHO’s work in medicines. Efforts to strengthen WHO effectiveness at country level include:

  • Appointing regional and issue focal points in TCM
  • Increasing the number of staff working on medicines issues in WHO Regional Offices
  • Recruiting Medicines Advisors in selected WHO Country Offices
  • Strengthening partnerships with health care providers, civil society organisations, consumers, donors, and other international agencies

Country offices and Medicines advisers

Medicines Advisors are National Professional Officers with specialized expertise in medicines. Positioned in WHO Country Offices, they assure countries have consistent intensified longterm support for sustainable medicines development. Medicines Advisors work with Ministries of Health to monitor country medicines sectors, assist countries in identifing priorities, and coordinate WHO technical work in the medicines sector. Medicines Advisors are also strategic resources countries may call upon to provide expert advice on medicines issues. Current contact information for all WHO Medicines Advisors is published in Who’s Who in WHO in Essential Drugs and Medicines Policy LINK

Working with Ministries of Health

WHO work in medicines begins with Ministries of Health (MoH). The WHO Country Office, the Medicines Advisor [hyperlink] in selected countries, works with MoH to identify needs and priorities in medicines and develop plans for how WHO can support the MoH to address them.

Working with WHO Regional Offices

WHO Regional Offices support WHO Country Offices. The medicines team in each region works with the TCM regional focal point to coordinate and implement WHO activities related to medicines for the region and for the countries involved.

TCM regional and issue focal points are responsible for linking countries and regions with appropriate WHO expertise and resources. They work in liaison with the Department for Pharmaceutical Norms and Standards and other relevant WHO departments as well as WHO partners in country support, including stakeholders and experts in medicines issues