In some countries there appear to be mismatches between lists of essential medicines and lists of registered medicines.
The high cost of pharmaceuticals often means only the richest patients get lifesaving medicines. As coronavirus drugs emerge, it will require hard, creative work to ensure they're available to all.
Recently passed legislation will ensure pharmaceutical companies report shortages of medicines. This is only about notifications. It won't prevent medicine shortages themselves.
In Uganda, essential medicines are not being stocked at facilities that need them most. This includes drugs to treat chronic diseases.
India's laissez-faire attitude to drug regulation is a serious threat to global efforts to tackle antimicrobial resistance.
Like the essential medicines list which sets out the drugs each country should have at affordable prices, an essential diagnostics list would detail diagnostic tests for those who need them.
Hollywood may already have done it but when we eventually send real astronauts to Mars, what medicines should we arm them with? And will they work the same way as they do on Earth?