Essential medicines and health products

Increasing access to information on adverse reactions to medicines


The European Medicines Agency (EMA) will give increased access to reports on suspected adverse reactions to medicines authorised in the EU, while guaranteeing that personal data remains fully protected. This decision will be critical to protecting patient safety in the European Union and beyond and will contribute to VigiBase, the WHO Global Individual Case Safety Report database, on behalf of the WHO Programme on International Drug Monitoring. Better global knowledge on the safety of medicines will also help to promote the safe use of medicines for the benefit of patients worldwide.

Address by Marie-Paule Kieny to UNGASS 2016 on the world drug problem: focus on people, public health and human rights


WHO Health Systems and Innovation Assistant Director-General, Dr Marie-Paule Kieny says WHO will contribute actively to a new agenda to address the world drug problem, that will begin to be developed at the UN General Assembly Special Session in April next year.
Dr Kieny told a side event at a Commission on Narcotic Drugs meeting in Vienna that global drug policies dominated by the supply and demand reduction model of drug control have failed, and a new approach based on public health and development outcomes is needed.
She said WHO’s main goals are to ensure universal access to controlled essential medicines needed for healthcare and research, and effective prevention and treatment for problem drug users.

WHO launches global survey on assistive technologies for elderly and disabled


WHO has launched a survey to identify the 50 top technologies people need worldwide to improve their lives. The survey, issued in the world’s 50 most spoken languages, will use the information gathered to build the WHO Priority Assistive Products List (APL), a tool that will set the standard for the most essential assistive products that must be available in a health system.

Minister of Health of Viet Nam signs Antimicrobial resistance pledge


The World Health Organization in Viet Nam (WHO) and the government of Viet Nam join hands to organize the first national Antibiotic Awareness Week, which will run on 16-22 November. Antimicrobial resistance in Viet Nam is affecting the health of the population and weakening the health care system. In 2013 Viet Nam became the first country in WHO’s Western Pacific Region to approve a national action plan to combat drug resistance. In observing the first Antibiotics Awareness Week Viet Nam is reiterating its commitment to combat Antibiotics resistance.

Take a closer look

Since the turn of the century greater importance has been placed on access to medical products, resulting in many more people tested and treated for priority diseases – i.e. HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria – and maternal and child conditions. But much remains to be done to ensure all health systems can deliver on the full range of essential medical products needed by communities, and to address the growing burden of non-communicable diseases.


News that one of the most effective treatments for snake bite, Fav-Afrique, will run out in 2016 caused dismay among public health experts and advocates...

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