Essential medicines and health products

Access to Non Communicable Diseases Medicines

WHA 2011
WHO/T.M&M

Every year about 35 million deaths occur due to Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs). About 80% of these deaths occur in Low and Middle Income countries. Most of the conditions which cause these deaths can be treated with essential medicines that need to be provided life long. Unfortunately access to these chronic disease medicines is generally poor in most Low and Middle Income countries.

On 19th and 20th September a High-level Meeting on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases will be held at the United Nations in New York. In April 2011 an Interministerial preparatory meeting was held in Moscow.
In preparation for this meeting the Essential Medicines and Pharmaceutical Policies (EMP) Department prepared two background documents on Access to NCD Medicines.

The first short document titled Briefing document Essential Medicines for Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) identifies the need for these medicines and highlights the differences in access for different medicines and in different sectors. Recommendations related to selection, financing and pricing, quality and safety of medicines and rational use are provided.

A second more comprehensive background document titled Essential Medicines for Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) was also prepared for this meeting. Background document Essential Medicines for Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) This paper provides a comprehensive review of present situation, the underlying causes and the policy and programmatic options for scaling up access to essential NCD medicines in countries.

Key reference and resources

To facilitate discussions about Access to NCD medicines the EMP Department has put together key reference and resource documents.