Pharmacists have been shown to reduce morbidity and mortality, reduce medication errors, improve rational use and prescribing of medicines, and increase access to health care and medicines. Unfortunately, in many countries there is a severe shortage of appropriately-trained pharmacists and pharmaceutical human resources. The WHO UNESCO FIP Pharmacy Education Taskforce is steering sustainable pharmacy education and pharmacy workforce action to support and strengthen local, national, regional and international efforts. The Taskforce advocates for a needs-based approach, which aims to meet the pharmaceutical needs of the local population. This paper explains the concept of needs-based education, describes the work of the Pharmacy Education Taskforce, and explores key issues in pharmacy education development and quality assurance.