Essential medicines and health products

Essential medicines model list under review this week

21 April 2015 – The Expert Committee on Selection and Use is meeting at WHO Headquarters in Geneva this week in order to revise and update the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines for adults and children. It is the 20th meeting of the expert committee, which updates the model list every two years after reviewing the latest scientific evidence on the efficacy, safety and cost effectiveness of medicines. Essential medicines are medicines that satisfy the priority health care needs of a population, and countries can use the model list in the development of their own national essential medicines list. Such documents can guide procurement and supply of medicines in the public and private sector, schemes that reimburse medicine costs, medicine donations and local medicine production.

WHO Launches Open Access to the WHO Global Medicines* Safety Database

17 April 2015 -- Pharmacovigilance, or drug safety, is the primary method used to identify hazards associated with medicinal products and with minimizing the risk of any harm that may come to patients.

“VigiAccess is a global public good,” said Marie-Paule Kieny, WHO Assistant Director General for Health Systems and Innovation. “By promoting open access and transparency, we hope that we will also promote medicine awareness and save lives.”

Ebola vaccines, therapies, and diagnostics

Ebola specific prevention and treatment tools do not exist at the moment. In response to the severity and breadth of the current epidemic in West Africa, WHO has been spearheading efforts to galvanize the research and development of vaccines, treatments and diagnostics to curb the outbreak and ensure that these tools, if safe and effective, are also available for potential future outbreaks. To that end, WHO has convened the affected countries, donor and scientific communities, civil society and industry to gather the best evidence available and garner support for accelerated development and testing of the most promising tools.

WHO report suggests cost-effective approaches to access essential new medicines in Europe

26 March 2015 -- A new report on the affordability of new medicines in Europe shows that cooperation and transparency are the best tools to ensure equitable pricing and access. As the number of new medicines introduced in Europe rises, governments need novel policy approaches to evaluate the cost–effectiveness of new drugs and make informed public health choices.