Essential medicines and health products

WHO/Health Action International Project on Medicine Prices and Availability


The Project on Medicine Prices and Availability was a collaborative partnership between WHO and the international non-governmental organization Health Action International. The Project was supported by a resolution of WHO Member States at the 54th World Health Assembly in 2001, calling for the development of "systems for voluntary monitoring drug prices and reporting global drug prices" (Resolution WHA 54.11).

Through the project, an innovative standardized survey methodology for measuring medicine prices, availability, affordability and price components was developed (see: Measuring medicine prices, availability, affordability and price components). This methodology became a validated and internationally accepted means of collecting reliable evidence on medicine prices and availability.

Since its launch, the survey has been completed in over 50 countries. Survey data and reports are publicly available – see the database of survey data, national reports, survey tools and other resources. This constitutes an important step towards greater transparency and availability of reliable information on medicine prices in different settings.

In addition to support for data collection on medicine prices and availability, guidance was developed to assist national policy-makers and other stakeholders in identifying and implementing policies to manage pharmaceutical prices, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (see: WHO guideline on country pharmaceutical pricing policies).