The Lancet – Jan 28, 2017 Volume 389 Number 10067 p331-476

The Lancet
Jan 28, 2017 Volume 389 Number 10067 p331-476
http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/issue/current

Comment
Essential medicines for universal health coverage
Pamela Das, Richard Horton
Summary
Access to medicines has long been a potent flashpoint in global health, from antiretrovirals to drugs that cure hepatitis C. Indeed, as a new Lancet Commission report, Essential Medicines for Universal Health Coverage,1 asserts, essential medicines should be at the centre of our vision for global health, affecting, as they do, the lives and dignity of people worldwide. Led by Veronika Wirtz, Hans Hogerzeil, and Andy Gray, the Commission identifies lessons learned from 30 years of implementing essential medicines policies.

The Lancet Commissions
Essential medicines for universal health coverage
Veronika J Wirtz, Hans V Hogerzeil, Andrew L Gray, Maryam Bigdeli, Cornelis P de Joncheere, Margaret A Ewen, Martha Gyansa-Lutterodt, Sun Jing, Vera L Luiza, Regina M Mbindyo, Helene Möller, Corrina Moucheraud, Bernard Pécoul, Lembit Rägo, Arash Rashidian, Dennis Ross-Degnan, Peter N Stephens, Yot Teerawattananon, Ellen F M ‘t Hoen, Anita K Wagner, Prashant Yadav, Michael R Reich
Summary
Essential medicines satisfy the priority health-care needs of the population. Essential medicines policies are crucial to promoting health and achieving sustainable development. Sustainable Development Goal 3.8 specifically mentions the importance of “access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all” as a central component of Universal Health Coverage (UHC), and Sustainable Development Goal 3.b emphasises the need to develop medicines to address persistent treatment gaps.