World Health Organization
 Collaborating Center on
 Pharmaceutical Policy

    Improving Access to and Use of Essential Medicines

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Medicines and Insurance Coverage (MedIC) Initiative



Glossary of Terms Used for Pharmaceuticals and Pharmaceutical Policies in Low- and Middle-Income Countries


What is the WHOCCPP?

A Call for Collaboration

The Drug Policy Research Group (DPRG) within the Department of Population Medicine (formerly the Department of Ambulatory Care and Prevention) at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute and the Center for International Health and Development (CIHD) at Boston University were jointly designated in 2003 as the World Health Organization/Pan American Health Organization Collaborating Center in Pharmaceutical Policy (CCPP).

The DPRG is led in its international programs by Dennis Ross-Degnan, ScD, who co-directs the CCPP with Jonathon Simon, ScD, at CIHD. These organizations have worked with the WHO Department of Essential Drugs and Medicines Policy and the International Network for Rational Use of Drugs for more than two decades on research and programs intended to improve access to high quality essential drugs in developing countries, and to develop policies that promote greater affordability and appropriate use of these medicines.

This work is particularly crucial in light of the fact that at least one-third of the world’s population lacks access to essential medicines, and among those who do have access, medicines are frequently used is ways that are clinically inappropriate or economically wasteful.

The Center Today

The CCPP conducts pharmaceutical policy training courses in the US and abroad; trains fellows in pharmaceutical policy research; works with WHO and other international partners on joint research initiatives to improve use of medicines; develops interventions for medicines-related policy and behavior change and methods to evaluate their impact; and provides a global forum for exchanging research results and identifying new issues in the field. One important initiative of the Center is the development and regional implementation of a training courses on use of prescribing and dispensing data for medicines policy research to strengthen urgently needed skills of managers and analysts of the rapidly expanding government and private insurance programs in many non-industrialized countries.


Information from the Third International Conference for Improving Use of Medicines, ICIUM2011