About the programme

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A capsuleThe WHO essential medicines and pharmaceutical policies programme works with Member States to improve equitable access to affordable medicines of assured quality. It aims to ensure that medicines are prescribed and used appropriately. The objectives of the programme in the Eastern Mediterranean Region include:

  • conducting national pharmaceutical sector studies and developing guidelines
  • advising on the development of national medicines policy and intellectual property rights
  • developing and reviewing national essential medicine lists and national formularies
  • strengthening national medicines procurement, storage and supply systems
  • regulating the retail sale of medicines
  • strengthening the role of national drug regulatory authorities and quality control laboratories
  • promoting regional initiatives for pharmacovigilance and ensuring safety of medicines.

Related links

WHO medicines strategy: countries at the core 2004–2007

Continuity and change: implementing the third WHO medicines strategy 2008–2013

Statistics and figures

Regional Health Observatory

Average pharmaceutical expenditure: US$ 1141 million

Average pharmaceutical expenditure per capita: US$ 57 

Average density of pharmacists: 5.02 per 10 000 population

Average number of licensed pharmaceutical manufacturers: 52

Average number of registered pharmaceutical products: 7529