MDG 8 - Access to Essential Medicines

Date of commitment: 
September 2000


Target 8.E: In cooperation with pharmaceutical companies, provide access to affordable drugs in developing countries
Indicator 8.13.: Proportion of the population with access to affordable essential drugs on a sustainable basis


No numerical targets were set.


  • Availability of medicines in developing countries: 58% in public sector; 67% in private sector
  • Prices of generic medicines: 4.62 and 2.92 times higher than international reference prices, in public and private sectors, respectively
  • Monthly costs of medicines to treat chronic diseases are often equivalent to several days’ salary of the lowest paid government worker


  • Prices of essential medicines remain high and availability low, making them unaffordable to large segments of population in developing countries
  • Lack of numerical targets to monitor global commitments to increase access to affordable essential medicines


More information about the Millennium Declaration
Data source: