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


Fact Book on Medicines Use in Primary Care in
Developing and Transitional Countries
Irrational use of medicines is one of the most serious global public health problems we face today. Improving use requires regular monitoring and application of effective interventions, both of which are often not done, particularly in many lower income countries. To address this issue, WHO created a database of medicines use in in primary care settings in developing and transitional countries. Quantitative information has been extracted from 679 studies conducted in 97 countries and on 386 interventions (from 313 studies). The medicines use database has allowed the first systematic quantitative review of studies measuring medicines use in developing and transitional countries and the results are now presented. How serious a problem is irrational use of medicines? What interventions are effective? Members of the WHO Collaborating Center in Pharmaceutical Policy (WHOCCPP) in Boston, Massachusetts contributed to the conception and realization of the project, and collaborated with the WHO Department of Essential Drugs and Medicines Policy to produce the final analysis of the report. Dennis Ross-Degnan collaborated to the creation and design of the database. He undertook the analysis and write-up with the assistance of Amy Johnson, Sarah Lewis, Catherine Vialle-Valentin and Anita Wagner.

Click the link below to read the report.

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