The WHO Model List of Essential Drugs

Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. 2000; 2(1):37-46

Type
Journal article

Abstract

The WHO Model List of Essential Drugs is eagerly awaited in many countries as a guide to what should be provided for basic health needs. Colloquially known as the «Essential Drugs List» it should perhaps be remembered that it is only a model list–amodel which should be used to compile an essential drugs list. The essential drugs vary from country to country and even within a country so a single essential drug list cannot be compiled for the world. The text which accompanies the biennial updating of the list makes it clear that it is a Model and provides guidelines for establishing a national regional program of essential drugs, criteria for selection of essential drugs and other supporting data. The list is a model only. This long preamble is necessary to forestall criticism of why some drugs are included and other are excluded. A good deal of informed debate goes on over what is included on the Model List because the model list does tend to be accepted as «The Essential Drugs List». Certainly the list does contain drugs which could make up the essential drugs for each country. As one would expect from the prevalence of infection in the world the Model List contains many antimicrobials and for this reason we are publishing the latest list of compounds in the Antibiotics/Chemotherapy Newsletter and in the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents - the two official publications of the International Society of Chemotherapy. Inthe Newsletter we give only minimal information namely the list of anti-infective and anti-cancer drugs included on the list. In the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents you can find more detail on model and the indications made to the previous list. Needless to say the editors of both publications would like to receive comments onthe list: the next revisionis less thana year away.

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