Technical Briefing Seminar
on Essential Medicines Policies

Location: WHO/Headquarters, Geneva

Dates:  17-21 November 2008

A one-week Technical Briefing Seminar will be organized
by the Department of Medicines Policy and Standards (PSM)
the Department of Technical Cooperation for Essential Drugs and Traditional Medicine (TCM)
in collaboration with UNICEF Supply Division, Copenhagen

Similar briefing seminars have been held annually since 1998. 

Target audience 

Priority is given to the following categories: technical advisers and field staff of WHO, and of other UN and bilateral agencies, governmental and nongovernmental organizations, active in pharmaceutical and health sector reform programmes in developing and transitional countries and medicines experts working in the public sector, academic institutions, consulting and civil society organizations.  

Seminar objectives

By the end of the programme participants will:

  1. have a general understanding of the most common problems in the pharmaceutical sector in developing and transitional countries; and will have shared experiences in addressing these challenges;

  2. have a general understanding of how WHO and the UNICEF Supply Division support developing and transitional countries in strengthening the pharmaceutical sector;

  3. appreciate the importance of National Drug Policies as the best approach to make essential medicines of good quality available to all who need them, and ensure the rational use of medicines;

  4. be aware of ways to strengthen collaboration with WHO and other organizations supporting the pharmaceutical sector in developing and transitional countries;

  5. understand the impact of international agreements on pharmaceuticals;

  6. be aware of current issues such as pharmacovigilance, pricing issues, traditional medicines and counterfeit medicines.

Seminar outline  

Sessions will be devoted to developing National Drug Policies, selection of essential medicines, access to essential drugs including affordability and financing, the impact of globalization and trade agreements, drug regulation and quality assurance, drug procurement and supply systems, pharmacovigilance and drug safety, promoting rational medicine use, and coordination between international agencies. The programme includes updates on the Global Fund, the UN pre-qualification project, the 2007 Meeting of the Expert Committee on the Selection and Use of Essential Medicines, the implications of international trade agreements, rational use of medicines and Essential Medicines-related information resources. 

Presenters and facilitators  

Sessions will be led by senior staff members of the Department of Medicines Policy and Standards and the Department of Technical Cooperation for Essential Drugs and Traditional Medicines, and there will be a session by staff of UNICEF.  One afternoon is available for individual appointments with WHO staff.   

The seminar will be facilitated by senior staff from WHO/PSM, WHO/QSM/QSD and WHO/TCM.

Applications and further information  

Participation at the Technical Briefing Seminar is free of charge. Participants will be responsible for their own travel, board and lodging.

The closing date for submission of applications is 19 September 2008.

Please note that every year we receive more applications than places available on the seminar.  This has meant that a rigorous selection procedure is in place.

Requests for more information and completed application forms should be sent to:

Mrs Ann Wilberforce
World Health Organization
Geneva 1211
Fax 41-22-7914167
-mail wilberforcea@who.int


Key readings

Previous seminars

Application form


Chinese Pharmaceutical Policies Studies