Many would consider the right to have access to essential medicines as being an integral part of the right to health. 2 The question that arises is: which medicines are essential? Are these those medicines that are on the World Health Organization (WHO) list of essential medicines, 3 or those that are on the national lists, or those that are the most important medicines needed to treat diseases that contribute most to disease around the world? Among such causes, should the focus be on communicable diseases only or can epidemics be also of the non-communicable kind?