Summaries of revisions to WHO EML now available in English and Russian

WHO/Samvel Azatyan

Following key updates to the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines (EML) and to the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines for Children (EMLc), the Health Technologies and Pharmaceuticals programme at WHO/Europe has developed 3 documents to highlight and summarize the revisions.

The updates were the result of the 21st meeting of the WHO Expert Committee on the Selection and Use of Essential Medicines, which took place in Geneva, Switzerland, on 27–31 March 2017. The goal of the meeting was to review and update the 19th EML and the 5th EMLc. The Expert Committee considered 92 applications, including proposals to add 41 new medicines and extend the indications for 6 existing listed medicines, and 5 applications to delete medicines from the lists.

The meeting also included a comprehensive review of the antibacterials listed in sections 6.2.1 and 6.2.2 and their use in the treatment of 21 common, priority infectious syndromes; 5 paediatric infectious diseases; and 3 sexually transmitted infections. In accordance with approved procedures, the Expert Committee evaluated the scientific evidence for the comparative effectiveness, safety and cost–effectiveness of the medicines.

The objective of the 3 documents is to communicate these changes to national counterparts involved in the evidence-based selection of: medicines for inclusion in national essential medicines lists (NEMLs), medicines for inclusion in reimbursement programmes, and medicine formularies for use in primary, secondary and tertiary care.

These documents are available in both English and Russian and address the following areas:

  • changes to the 2017 EML and EMLc;
  • consideration of antibacterial medicines (section 6.2) as part of the revisions to the 2017 EML and EMLc;
  • consideration of diabetes medicines (section 18.5) as part of the revisions to the 2017 EML and EMLc.

These summary documents do not replace the report of the WHO Expert Committee 2017, and should be read in conjunction with the full report.