Essential medicines and health products

About us

A world where every child, man and woman can afford and has access to the quality medicines and health products they need to lead a healthy and productive life

The WHO Essential Medicines and Health Products (EMP) Department works with countries to promote affordable access to quality, safe and effective medicines, vaccines, diagnostics and other medical devices.

Built on three main pillars – access, innovation and regulation – EMP promotes policies and technical capacities in low-resourced health systems, develops international standards for the manufacturing and regulation of health products and provides guidance for health systems everywhere to deliver them safely and cost-effectively.

Medicines at WHO Headquarters

At WHO headquarters, Essential Medicines and Health Products activities are situated within the Cluster of Health Systems and Innovation (HIS)


Areas of work

Essential Medicines and Health Products in the WHO Regions

The EMP department is collaborating with WHO Regional and Country offices and consulting with major stakeholders towards the articulation of a strategic plan of action that will set out WHO’s vision for the coming years to promote increased access in all countries to essential medicines and other health products.