Target 8e of the Millennium Development Goals acknowledges the need to improve the availability of affordable medicines for the world’s poor. The target is currently measured by the following indicator "Proportion of population with access to affordable, essential drugs on a sustainable basis."
Access is defined as having medicines continuously available and affordable at public or private health facilities or medicine outlets that are within one hour’s walk from the homes of the population.
WHO/HAI acknowledges that in about 40 developing countries, public sector essential medicine availability is only one third, while private sector availability is about two thirds.
Access to essential medicines can be improved through stronger partnership among governments, pharmaceutical companies and civil society, including consumers, working together to ensure universal access to essential medicines.