01 Mar Turn off the tap of unsafe medicines
Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization
Mr Chairman, distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen,
I will be brief and to the point.
An area of work that affects the capacity of medicines to protect public health has become clouded with confusion and controversy. We need to clear the air.
Let me put some of the issues, as I understand them, on the table.
The first priority for public health, and this is the priority for WHO, is to protect populations from the harm caused by poor-quality, unsafe medicines.
The objective is to keep these harmful products off the market everywhere, but especially in the developing world.
Approaches, initiatives, and definitions should support this public health priority, and not undermine it or divert the response to serve other purposes.