Essential medicines and health products

Snakebite gaining momentum – access to quality antivenoms a top priority

One of today’s most neglected health problems, snakebite-induced death and disability, impacts on the lives of thousands, mostly the rural poor, and contributes to multiple issues that challenge subsistence agriculture and the overall quality of life in many settings. WHO has for several years advocated for greater attention to the issue, including the need for a broader public health approach to tackling snakebite envenoming that focuses on prevention, education and management. In addition, WHO has developed a large body of guidelines, in particular on the quality manufacture of antivenoms.

WHO proposal to establish a WHO Model List of Essential In Vitro Diagnostics (EDL)

WHO | Fatoumata Diabate

Building on the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines (EML), WHO is proposing to establish a WHO Model List of Essential In Vitro Diagnostics (EDL). A proposal has been submitted to the 21st WHO Expert Committee on the Selection and Use of Essential Medicine for comments and recommendations about the relevance, scope and the best course of action for developing the EDL.
This Expert Committee will meet on 27-31 March 2017 in Geneva.

Countries transition to new child-friendly TB medicines

After a medicine is included in the List of Essential Medicines and into treatment guidelines, what steps do countries take to integrate new medicines? In 2016, over 30 countries adopted and have implemented transitions plans to use the new paediatric dose forms for treating children with tuberculosis. Which country will join next?

New: School of INN Video

In many countries, different brand names are used for the same medicine. The International Nonproprietary Name (INN) programme was set up to provide a common and an official generic name for each and every medicine. In a highly globalized world, the use of INNs, rather than medicines brand names, are critical for health care professionals as well as patients.

Taking the panic out of emergencies

Emergency preparedness was one of the hot topics of ICDRA 2016, the international conference of drug regulatory authorities that takes place every two years. ICDRA provides regulators with a platform to exchange ideas and set priorities. This year it was held in Cape Town, South Africa, and the over 100 participating regulatory agencies decided to include health emergencies in their discussions. Recounting their experiences of the West Africa Ebola epidemic, regulators who had been in the eye of the storm outlined the lessons they learned and sketched out some of the ways we can progress to be better prepared for the next epidemic. The message to their fellow regulators was: “It could be you in the hot seat next time!”

Fair pricing of medicines and fair pricing forum

Ocean Road Cancer Institute, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania