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Factsheet: The Essential Medicines Concept

The definition of a counterfeit medicine is as follows:

Essential medicines are those that satisfy the priority health care needs for the population. They are selected with due regard to disease prevalence, evidence on efficacy and safety, and comparative cost effectiveness.

Essential medicines are intended to be available within the context of functioning health systems at all times, in adequate amounts, in the appropriate dosage forms, with assured quality, and at a price the individual and the community can afford. The implementation of the concept of essential medicines is intended to be flexible and adaptable to many different situations; exactly which medicines are regarded as essential remains a national responsibility. (WHO, 2002)

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Contact Information

Health Action International (HAI) Africa Office
4th Floor, Top Plaza off Kindaruma Road Suite 4-2
P.O Box Nairobi - Kenya
Tel: +254 20 2692973 ext 108, Cell phone: + 254 0733 398654., Web:http://