Essential medicines save lives, reduce suffering, and improve health, but only if they are of good quality and safe available, affordable, and properly used. Essential medicines are medicines that satisfy the health care needs of the majority of the population. However, in many countries today not all these conditions are being met.
WHO estimates that over 10.5 million lives a year could be saved by 2015- also boosting economic growth and social development- by expanding access to existing interventions for infectious diseases, maternal and child health and communicable diseases. Most of these interventions depend on essential medicines. Yet today, almost 2 billion people- one-third of the global population do not have regular access to essential medicines. Equity in access to essential medicines is a fundamental human right. Access to essential medicines is also one of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).