Global and Regional Situation Summary

WHO’s goal in medicines is to help save lives and improve health by ensuring the quality, efficacy, safety and rational use of medicines, including traditional medicines. Our vision is that people everywhere have access to the essential medicines they need; that the medicines are safe, effective, and of good quality; and prescribed and used rationally.

Over the past 25 years, WHO has strongly advocated the essential medicines concept as part of national medicines policies. Despite this, regular access to medicines is denied to over one third of the world’s population, particularly in developing countries. Serious problems of access to essential medicines are still frequently encountered in countries and areas in the Western Pacific Region, despite the existence of national medicines policies, national essential medicines lists and standard treatment guidelines. A focused strategy for improving access to essential medicines in the Western Pacific Region is badly needed. The overall objective of the regional strategy is to provide operational and practical guidance to Member States and WHO on improving access to affordable essential medicines of acceptable quality, which are appropriately used by those who need them.