Health policy-makers need ways to increase access peoples' access to essential medicines. The human rights framework provides new tools for analysis, action, accountability, alignment of policies, and advocacy.
To support the analysis of how well access to essential medicines is being realized in countries, the UN human rights treaty bodies work with WHO to identify appropriate indicators for the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health (the right to health).
These indicators will incorporate measures to increase access to essential medicines and form an integral component of the regular State Party reports. National benchmarks will be set against these indicators in order to monitor progress.
One article in this issue of the Bulletin argues for benchmarks to monitor implementation of various World Health Assembly resolutions on access to medicines and amendments to the Agreement on the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). (1) The UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health, Paul Hunt, also works with WHO …