The politics of essential medicines

What are Essential Medicines? What do they mean to a country and to communities all over the world? And more interestingly, can there be politics on this simple and innocuous list? Essential Medicines, as per the World Health Organisation (WHO), are those that satisfy the priority health needs of most people in the community. They are intended to be available within the context of functioning health systems at all times in adequate amounts, in the appropriate dosage forms, with assured quality and adequate information, and at a price the individual and the community can afford.

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