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Scientific experts from around the world are calling on governments to better align illicit drug policy goals with community concerns. This open letter outlines extensive scientific evidence that the indicators used to evaluate drug policy ignore some of the most important community impacts. In response, the open letter includes a preliminary set of suggested indicators that allow for governments to better assess the health, security, development and human rights impacts of their drug policies. By reprioritizing the indicators used to evaluate illicit drug policy, governments will be better able to implement targeted and effective policies that align with community needs. The alternative is to continue the unacceptably high levels of drug-related harms, with grave implications for communities across the globe.