What is the WHOCCPP?
A Call for Collaboration
The Drug Policy Research Group (DPRG) within the Department of Population Medicine (formerly the Department of Ambulatory Care and Prevention) at Harvard
Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute and the Center for International Health and Development
(CIHD) at Boston University were jointly designated in 2003 as the World Health Organization/Pan
American Health Organization Collaborating Center in Pharmaceutical Policy (CCPP).
The DPRG is led in its international programs by Dennis Ross-Degnan, ScD, who co-directs the
CCPP with Jonathon Simon, ScD, at CIHD. These organizations have worked with the WHO Department of
Essential Drugs and Medicines Policy and the International Network for Rational Use of Drugs for
more than two decades on research and programs intended to improve access to high quality essential
drugs in developing countries, and to develop policies that promote greater affordability and
appropriate use of these medicines.
This work is particularly crucial in light of the fact that at least one-third of the
world’s population lacks access to essential medicines, and among those who do have access,
medicines are frequently used is ways that are clinically inappropriate or economically wasteful.
The Center Today
The CCPP conducts pharmaceutical policy training courses in the US and abroad; trains fellows in
pharmaceutical policy research; works with WHO and other international partners on joint research
initiatives to improve use of medicines; develops interventions for medicines-related policy and
behavior change and methods to evaluate their impact; and provides a global forum for exchanging
research results and identifying new issues in the field. One important initiative of the Center
is the development and regional implementation of a training courses on use of prescribing and
dispensing data for medicines policy research to strengthen urgently needed skills of managers and
analysts of the rapidly expanding government and private insurance programs in many