Essential medicines

The Millennium Development Goal Target 8.E contains a commitment, in cooperation with pharmaceutical companies, to provide access to affordable essential drugs in developing countries. However, the lack of quantitative targets and indicators in the MDG framework prevents proper monitoring of global commitments towards providing essential medicines, as well as an assessment of the contribution of the pharmaceutical sector. 

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The MDG Gap Task Force identifies implementation gaps in the commitments made under MDG 8 and provides recommendations to all major stakeholders on how to address these gaps. According to the MDG Gap Task Force Report 2014, the main gaps in meeting commitments on access to essential medicines are:


Make affordable essential medicines available.


(by 2014)

Essential medicines are available in only 58 per cent of facilities in the public sector and 67 per cent in the private sector (in selected developing countries). 


(by 2014)

Median prices of essential medicines were, on average, 2.92 and 4.62 times higher than international reference prices, in the public and private sectors, respectively (in selected developing countries).