WHO Releases Updated List of Essential Medicines

28 Jul 2023 • The World Health Organisation (WHO) has recently released the 23rd edition of the Model Lists of Essential Medicines (EML) and the 9th edition of the Essential Medicines for Children (EMLc). These updated lists, published in July 2023, include significant additions of new medicines aimed at treating a variety of health conditions including multiple sclerosis, cancer, infectious diseases, and cardiovascular conditions.

  • Among the notable additions to the 2023 list are three medications designed to slow the progression of multiple sclerosis.
  • In 2023 three medicines that can delay or slow its progression - cladribine, glatiramer acetate and rituximab - are added to the EML, filling an important gap given the large global burden of MS.
  • For the first time, the guidelines also recommend "polypills" for the treatment of heart disease and other cardiovascular issues.
  • New medicines listed for infectious diseases include:
  1. Ceftolozane + tazobactam, a ‘reserve’ group antibiotic effective against multi-drug resistant bacteria, including difficult-to-treat infections caused by carbapenem resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa;
  2. Pretomanid for treatment of multidrug-resistant or rifampicin-resistant tuberculosis;
  3. Ravidasvir (to be used in combination with sofosbuvir) for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus infection in adults;
  4. monoclonal antibodies for Ebola virus disease.
  • Diabetes: Current listings for human insulin on the EML and EMLc are extended to include cartridge and pre-filled pen delivery systems due to their potential advantages for patients over vials and syringes in terms of ease of use, greater accuracy of dosing and improved adherence.

Source: WHO | Read full story

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