Equitable access to medicines and other health technologies is a requisite for universal access to health and universal health coverage, and it is a global priority which should be considered within the context of the principle that recognizes the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health for all. The availability, accessibility, acceptability, and affordability of these medical products and their rational use can be facilitated through the adoption of comprehensive policies, legal and regulatory frameworks, and interventions. The escalating costs of providing access to high-cost medical products, however, poses a particular challenge for the sustainability of health systems.
This document provides a comprehensive overview of the multidimensional problem of access to high-cost medicines and other health technologies. It also identifies policy options that can safeguard the sustainability of health systems, expand access to highcost strategic products to improve health outcomes, and work to achieve public health objectives.