Essential Medicines

Our fight for access to essential NCD medicines is directed by 2 goals: promote the right to sound health policy over the right to profit and reinforce the right to treatment for NCDs while navigating complex trade agreements

Our petitions have led to the addition of 2% of all medicines to the World Health Organization Essential Medicines List (which guides mass drug donations globally); catalyzed Nigeria’s first bone marrow registry; and therefore, recognize the critical importance of the world’s commitment to reaching an 80% availability of essential medicines for NCDs. Our central staff coordinates campaigns and advocacy in this area.

Recent Actions

We worked to counter the US Trade Representative's damaging pressure on developing countries and wrote a letter to President Obama on the troubling US opposition to a drug patent waiver for least developed countries.

We drafted and filed a Request for Compulsory license on breast cancer medicine T-DM1 in the UK.

Policy Briefs & Responses

Expanding Global Access to Affordable Essential Non­-communicable Medicines and Technologies: A Next Generation Perspective on the WHO Discussion Paper (October, 2015)

Cancer medicines are essential in reducing the global burden of non-communicable diseases (May, 2014)

Non-Communicable Diseases & Access to Medicines Recommendations for Member States to Control NCDs in Low and Middle-Income Countries (2011)

Petitions to the WHO Essential Medicines List

  • imatinib (Gleevec)
  • trastuzumab (Herceptin)
  • risperidone
  • beta-blockers
  • spironolactone
  • glucagon
  • statins
Essential Medicines
Essential Medicines