Veronika Wirtz

Veronika J. Wirtz, PhD, MSc

Professor, Global Health - Boston University School of Public Health


Veronika J. Wirtz, MSc, PhD is a Professor in the Department of Global Health at the Boston University School of Public Health, where she is also Director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center in Pharmaceutical Policy. Her research focuses on health system strengthening and policy and program evaluations of medicines access and utilization. She is a Visiting Professor of the National Institute of Public Health (INSP) in Mexico.

Her interest and expertise include medicines price analysis, generic medicines policies, quality use of medicines, access to medicines for non-communicable diseases and the role of the private sector to promote equitable access and efficient use of medicines in low and middle income countries. Among other international studies Dr Wirtz carried out cross-national comparison of medicines consumption using large sales data bases to inform policy making about adequate use of medicines and prevention of antimicrobial resistance.

Between 2014 and 2016 she was the Co-Chair of The Lancet Commission on Essential Medicine Policies. The Commission had the goals of (1) re-confirming the ongoing relevance, and the crucial need of comprehensive essential medicines policies to achieve broader global health and sustainable development goals, especially universal health coverage and (2) formulating recommendations for global essential medicine policies for the next two decades. The Report of the Commission Essential Medicines for Universal Coverage was published in 2016.

From 2004 to 2012 she was researcher and lecturer at the National Institute of Public Health (INSP) in Mexico and a founding member and Head of the Medicines in Public Health Research Group which is a multi-disciplinary team of 15 experts in health economics, epidemiology, social science carrying out pharmaceutical policy analysis in Mexico and Latin America. Over the last years she has regularly taught short courses in Pharmacoepidemiology and Medicines Utilization Research at INSP in Mexico.

She has worked as a technical adviser for various international organizations, among them the World Health Organization, the Pan American Health Organization, the World Bank, the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Alliance for Health Systems and Policy Research, Health Action International and the Ford Foundation. She has also worked with the Ministry of Health in Mexico on various program evaluations and capacity building initiatives. She published widely in international peer review journals such as The Lancet, British Medical Journal, World Health Organization Bulletin, Health Policy and Planning, Health Policy, Value in Health, Social Science and Medicine, Tropical Medicine and International Health. Since Fall 2016 she is Associate Editor of Health Systems & Reform, a leading journal publishing health system and policy research.

She received her training as a pharmacist from Albert-Ludwigs-University in Freiburg, Germany and her Master in Clinical Pharmacy and PhD from the University of London in the UK.


  • University of London, PhD Field of Study: Pharmaceutical Policy
  • University of London, MSc Field of Study: Pharmacy
  • Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, BS Field of Study: Pharmacy

Classes Taught

  • SPHGH722
  • SPHGH760
  • SPHGH888
  • SPHGH941
  • SPHPM740


  • Published on 5/26/2022

    Vargas López LC, Wirtz VJ, Reich MR. Pharmaceutical services in public hospitals in Mexico: a cross-sectional study. Int J Pharm Pract. 2022 May 26; 30(2):143-152. PMID: 35294016.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 4/20/2022

    Kiragu ZW, Rockers PC, Onyango MA, Mungai J, Mboya J, Laing R, Wirtz VJ. Household access to non-communicable disease medicines during universal health care roll-out in Kenya: A time series analysis. PLoS One. 2022; 17(4):e0266715. PMID: 35443014.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 1/1/2022

    Smith-Sreen J, Heerdegen ACS, Wirtz VJ, Kulkarni P, Machado M, Rockers PC. Commercial and Social Value of Pharmaceutical Industry-led Access Programs: Conceptual Framework and Descriptive Analysis. Health Syst Reform. 2022 Jan 01; 8(1):e2057831. PMID: 35583505.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 1/1/2022

    Gómez-Dantés O, Dreser A, Wirtz VJ, Reich MR. Challenges of Guaranteeing Access to Medicines in Mexico: Lessons from Recent Changes in Pharmaceuticals Procurement. Health Syst Reform. 2022 Jan 01; 8(1):2084221. PMID: 35723656.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 11/11/2021

    Serván-Mori E, Orozco-Núñez E, Heredia-Pi I, Armenta-Paulino N, Wirtz VJ, Meneses-Navarro S, Nigenda G. Public health insurance and ethnic disparities in maternal health care: the case of vulnerable Mexican women over the last 25 years. Health Policy Plan. 2021 Nov 11; 36(10):1671-1680. PMID: 34557904.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 10/21/2021

    Wirtz VJ, Servan-Mori E, Mungai J, Mboya J, Rockers PC, Onyango MA, Kiragu ZW, Laing R. Probability and amount of medicines expenditure according to health insurance status in Kenya: A household survey in eight counties. Int J Health Plann Manage. 2022 Mar; 37(2):725-733. PMID: 34674309.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 10/20/2021

    Bünder T, Karekezi C, Wirtz V. Governing industry involvement in the non-communicable disease response in Kenya. Global Health. 2021 10 20; 17(1):123. PMID: 34670570.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 10/13/2021

    Aljadeeah S, Nagel E, Wirtz VJ. Outpatient cardiovascular diseases and diabetes medicines dispensing in the population with government health insurance in Syria between 2018 and 2019: a retrospective analysis. BMC Health Serv Res. 2021 Oct 13; 21(1):1088. PMID: 34645430.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 9/30/2021

    Orubu ESF, Samad MA, Rahman MT, Zaman MH, Wirtz VJ. Mapping the Antimicrobial Supply Chain in Bangladesh: A Scoping-Review-Based Ecological Assessment Approach. Glob Health Sci Pract. 2021 09 30; 9(3):532-547. PMID: 34593580.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 9/28/2021

    Aljadeeah S, Wirtz VJ, Nagel E. Cross-sectional survey to describe medicine use among Syrian asylum seekers and refugees in a German federal state: looking beyond infectious diseases. BMJ Open. 2021 09 28; 11(9):e053044. PMID: 34588262.

    Read At: PubMed

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