I. Progress in the rational use of medicines (resolution WHA60.16)

The Secretariat progress reports on the implementation of WHA60.16 (page 16) and subsequent resolutions on RUM.  Further information is to be found at the WHO Topic Page on Rational Use of Medicines

WHA Watch comments

This progress report describes a number of conferences and workshops some progress on the implementation of essential drug lists.  However, it reports sadly in Clause 84 that, "the majority of countries have yet to tackle rational use of medicines in their national plans and commit resources as recommended in the resolution."  

It would be a mistake to 'blame' member states for this very serious failure.  In significant degree it reflects the financial strangulation of WHO's capacity to objectively fulfill its constitutional mandate and its growing dependence on donors with an interest in the health of big pharma.

The large transnational pharmaceutical corporations have no interest in WHO promoting the rational use of medicines. In fact they spend vast amounts trying to promote the irrational use of medicines. WHO has been forced to depend on big pharma charity in the context of the access crisis and member states refusal to adequately fund WHO.  Areas where WHO has allowed its priorities to be 'shaped' by the interests of big pharma include its participation in IMPACT (see WHA Watch comment on Agenda Item 13.07 on Spurious etc Medicines) and its shift in focus from the rational use of medicines and national drug policies to the focus on corruption in medicines procurement.