Essential medicines are those that satisfy the priority health care needs of the population. They are selected with due regard to public health relevance, evidence on efficacy and safety, and comparative cost-effectiveness.
Essential medicines are intended to be available within the context of functioning health systems at all times in adequate amounts, in the appropriate dosage forms, with assured quality and adequate information, and at a price the individual and the community can afford.
WHO programmes and activities
- WHO Model Lists of Essential Medicines
Measuring transparency in the public pharmaceutical sector
- UN MDG report: ongoing lack of access to essential medicines