The Essential Drug Programme (EDP) was established in terms of the National Drug Policy within the Affordable Medicines Directorate (AMD). The aim of the Essential Drug Programme is to ensure that affordable, good quality essential medicines are available at all times in adequate amounts, in appropriate dosage forms, to all citizens.
The unit oversees development and implementation of the Standard Treatment Guidelines (STG’s) and Essential Medicines List (EML) of South Africa through the ministerially appointed National Essential Medicines List Committee (NEMLC).
The EML refers to the list of medicines deemed to satisfy the priority health care needs of the population.
The STG’s provides guidance to health care professionals on the use of medicines which appear on the EML. It consists of a collection of chapters containing disorder groups, background information on the disorder, treatment regimens, as well as other relevant information.