Measuring Transparency in the Public Pharmaceutical Sector

Phase I of the WHO Good Governance in Medicines (GGM) Framework

Developed by: World Health Organization (WHO)

Objective: To probe the perceptions of pharmaceutical policy‐makers and other stakeholders about transparency in a given public pharmaceutical system.

Output: Quantitative and qualitative information in eight key functions of a country's public sector medicines supply chain: (1) Registration of medicines, (2) Licensing of pharmaceutical business, (3) Inspection of establishments, (4) Control of medicine promotion, (5) Control of clinical trials, (6) Selection of essential medicines, (7) Procurement of medicines, (8) Distribution of medicines.

Additional information: This assessment represents Phase I of three of the GGM programme. The programme’s goal is to reduce corruption in the pharmaceutical sector by the application of transparent, accountable administrative procedures and by promoting ethical practices. Through this initiative, WHO's objective is to support countries in maintaining efficient health-care systems. While this methodology is not exhaustive, it can be viewed as a starting point for investigating weaknesses as well as strengths in a particular pharmaceutical system. Please see:

Process and resources:

  • The work is initiated by a country’s MoH policy-maker, National Medicines Regulatory Agency or public procurement agency - in the form of a request to WHO to support a national assessment.
  • The Phase I assessment is conducted by two national assessors (NAs). To ensure objective interpretation of the results, ideally these NAs will be from an independent group outside the MoH. They should have a knowledge of the pharmaceutical sector.
  • Assessment, including report writing, will take approximately 6-8 weeks.
  • Training and technical support is conducted by WHO. The training cost and publication cost of an assessment report for a country is on average US$12,000.

Link to the tool:

Country experience: The programme currently operates in 26 countries across the six WHO regions. Country reports and related documents can be found at:


Philippines, Malaysia, Laos and Thailand

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