A national drug policy, presented and printed as an official government statement, is important because it acts as a formal record of aspirations, aims, decisions and commitments.
Without such a formal policy document there may be no general overview of what is needed; as a result, some government measures may conflict with others, because the various goals and responsibilities are not clearly defined and understood.
The policy document should be developed through a systematic process of consultation with all interested parties. In this process the objectives must be defined, priorities must be set, strategies must be developed and commitment must be built.
- Medicines play a major role in protecting, maintaining and restoring people’s health. Continuous provision of appropriate medicines of assured quality, in adequate quantities and at affordable prices is a concern for all national governments.
- There is a general need for medicine policies based on universal principles but nevertheless adapted to the national situation of a country, to meet the health needs of different populations.
- A national medicines policy (NMP) helps to identify strategies to meet these objectives, as it provides a comprehensive framework for the development of all components of the national pharmaceutical sector with a future perspective of 10 years to adapt to the changing environment, combined with monitoring and periodic reviews
- The final content of an NMP will vary among countries, as it is dependent upon cultural and historical factors, including a country’s institutional capacity to regulate and enforce quality assurance, the political values of the government, the level of spending on pharmaceuticals, and economic development
- Urged to support national regulatory authorities so they can benefit from the processes and information for national regulatory authorities of reference
- Urged interaction and technical cooperation among countries