WHO Panel Reviews 40 New Medications for Essential Medicines List
A World Health Organization (WHO) expert panel will consider adding 40 new medications to the WHO’s Essential Medicines List (EML) at its annual conference in Geneva over the next two weeks.
The list of medicines to be reviewed includes multiple medications for cancer, as well as for diabetes, ADHD, hepatitis C and arthritis — ranging from the Bruton’s tyrosine kinase inhibitor, ibrutinib, for treatment of chronic lymphocyte leukemia to the monoclonal antibody, tocilizumab, for juvenile idiopathic arthritis.
The Essential Medicines List, which indicates the WHO’s stamp of approval for drugs it views as cost-effective, is used as a reference by governments when prioritizing medicines for their healthcare systems and for making decisions regarding coverage and availability.
One topic not on the advisory committee’s agenda is COVID-19 drugs, as the WHO is planning a separate review for COVID-19 treatments.