Essential medicines and health products

Tanzania is first African country to reach an important milestone in the regulation of medicines

Medicines samples for test (TFDA)

Tanzania is the first confirmed country in Africa to achieve a well-functioning, regulatory system for medical products according to the World Health Organization (WHO). This means that the Tanzania Food and Drug authority (TFDA) has made considerable improvements in recent years in ensuring medicines in the healthcare system are of good quality, safe and produce the intended health benefit...

New FDA-WHO joint pilot to accelerate access to HIV medicines

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and WHO have launched a joint pilot initiative to speed up approval of HIV medicines for supply to developing countries.

The FDA will share documents on HIV drug applications that have been approved or tentatively approved by the agency under the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

In lead-up to World AIDS Day, WHO prequalifies second HIV self-test


People living with HIV may be put off being tested due to stigma, lack of confidentiality or long distances to testing centres. Self-testing has the potential to circumvent these constraints.

This is why WHO’s prequalification of a second HIV self-test this week could potentially help ramp up diagnosis and treatment for people living with the virus (OraQuick was the first self-test to receive WHO prequalification, in 2017).

WHO Expert Committee on Drug Dependence meets to review cannabis and other substance

On 12-16 November the WHO ECDD will meet in Geneva to conclude its review of cannabis and cannabis related substances. This is the first time that the ECDD carries out a full review of cannabis and cannabis-related substances since the International Drug Control Conventions were established in 1961 and 1971. Until now, cannabis has been under the strictest control (schedules 1 and 4) – i.e. at the same level as heroin.

WHO first ever antibiotic consumption report shows wide gaps between countries

A report published today uses a new WHO global tool to measure antibiotic consumption and indicates wide differences between countries. Some countries are consuming too much, while in others access is low. However, not all high consumers are in high-income countries. The findings are worrying as resistance to these life-saving medicines is growing, largely due to irresponsible use.

The WHO essential medicines and health products programme works to increase access to essential, high-quality, safe, effective and affordable medical products.