WHO News Release: WHO updates global guidance on medicines and diagnostic tests to address health challenges, prioritize highly effective therapeutics, and improve affordable access

12 July, 2019

Extracts below and a comment from me. Full text here: https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/09-07-2019-who-updates-global-guida...

--

WHO updates global guidance on medicines and diagnostic tests to address health challenges, prioritize highly effective therapeutics, and improve affordable access

New essential medicines and diagnostics lists published today

9 July 2019 News release Geneva

WHO’s Essential Medicines List and List of Essential Diagnostics are core guidance documents that help countries prioritize critical health products that should be widely available and affordable throughout health systems...

“Around the world, more than 150 countries use WHO’s Essential Medicines List to guide decisions about which medicines represent the best value for money, based on evidence and health impact,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus...

The Essential Medicines List (2019)

Cancer treatments: While several new cancer treatments have been marketed in recent years, only a few deliver sufficient therapeutic benefits to be considered essential. The 12 medicines WHO added to the new Medicines List for five cancer therapies are regarded as the best in terms of survival rates to treat melanoma, lung, prostate, multiple myeloma and leukemias cancers...

Antibiotics: The Essential Medicines Committee strengthened advice on antibiotic use by updating the AWARE categories, which indicate which antibiotics to use for the most common and serious infections to achieve better treatment outcomes and reduce the risk of antimicrobial resistance. The committee recommended that three new antibiotics for the treatment of multi-drug resistant infections be added as essential...

The List of Essential (in vitro) Diagnostics

The first List of Essential Diagnostics was published in 2018, concentrating on a limited number of priority diseases – HIV, malaria, tuberculosis, and hepatitis. This year’s list has expanded to include more noncommunicable and communicable diseases...

Note to editors

The updated Essential Medicines List adds 28 medicines for adults and 23 for children and specifies new uses for 26 already-listed products, bringing the total to 460 products deemed essential for addressing key public health needs. While this figure may seem high, it corresponds to a fraction of the number of medicines available on the market. By focusing the choices, WHO is emphasizing patient benefits and wise spending with a view to helping countries prioritize and achieve universal health coverage.

The updated List of Essential Diagnostics contains 46 general tests that can be used for routine patient care as well as for the detection and diagnosis of a wide array of disease conditions, and 69 tests intended for the detection, diagnosis and monitoring of specific diseases...

--

COMMENT (NPW): Are there any HIFA members who are involved in the development of WHO’s Essential Medicines List and/or List of Essential Diagnostics? It would be educational to learn from your experience. Similarly, are there any HIFA members who use these lists as a way to 'prioritize critical health products [in your country] that should be widely available and affordable'? What are the challenges and opportunities in using these lists?

Best wishes, Neil

Joint Coordinator HIFA Project on Information for Prescribers and Users of Medicines

http://www.hifa.org/projects/prescribers-and-users-medicines

Let's build a future where people are no longer dying for lack of healthcare information - Join HIFA: www.hifa.org

HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG neil@hifa.org