Dear Neil, WHO has once again produced the list of essential medicines.
I dont count the times I read such kind of list.
In the field of medicines/pharmaceutical products nothing will change unless a political decision (local or transnational) will be taken, in other words, never.
Unfortunately drugs mean money, profit... health-care means money, profit : the entire world goes in direction of profit, we cannot stop an avalanche once started to run. Unless...unless people start to fear much and obey to political constrictions/orders (see CV pandemic).
Essential drugs are regarded (by us doctors as well) as second class medicines, produced-prescribed-sold for the poor unable to pay. The 'real-good-effective' ones are reserved for the rich, fortunate enough.
It should be the contrary: essential drugs are indeed the best for all of us while the market drugs are detrimental to our health and pockets. The only book that writes well "drugs do kill" is Where there is no doctor, none else.
Nothing will change.
I appreciate the commitment of WHO to alert the all world about overprescription of drugs (antibiotics).
But...but WHO never-never declared the optimal percent of children treated with antibiotics in any opd service of this world. It is WHO duty to indicate best practice. Instead it is left to doctors and their ethic sense of medicine (if any!) the freedom to prescribe whatever/whenever/to whoever they want to prescribe.
So the circle is closed: people want drugs, doctors do prescribe them for more profit, thousand pharmacies are daily opened for the same reason, leaders refrain to regulate the market of drugs for fear of losing votes.
HIFA profile: Massimo Serventi is a long-standing Pediatrician working in Africa since 1982. He currently works on a volunteer basis in an excellent missionary/credited hospital in north Uganda, St. Mary's Hospital-Lacor-GULU. He has worked for several NGOs in 6 African/2 Asian countries. His interests include clinical and community pediatrics, adherence to clinical guidelines and school education as the major determinant of good health. massimoser20 AT gmail.com