The World Health Organization released on Friday, a updated form of the Model List of Essential Medicines which includes innovative treatment options of hepatitis C, among others. This advances access to pioneering drugs that manifest benefits and could impact public health awareness worldwide.
WHO director-general Dr. Margaret Chan, said it is important to guarantee that anyone in need of medication is allowed access to effective drugs when they are released.
Placement of these drugs on the Essential Medicines List is a first step in that direction. Government institutions increasingly turn to WHO’s list to arrive at their own list of essential medicines for they believe the organization includes only medicines proven safe and effective.
Every 2 years, the Essential Medicines List is appraised by a committee of experts from the field of research, medical, pharmaceutical and the academe. The committee, this year stressed the prominence of equal access to essential medicines as well as the usage of new drugs which are basically too expensive.
These include new medicines for treatment of hepatitis C, an infection which affects 150 million individuals worldwide and have claimed the lives of around 500,000 people yearly as chronic septicity leads to cirrhosis of the liver. The disease is global, but most prevalent in several mid and low income nations.
Treatment for hepatitis C until recently has few benefits and derived an adverse side effects. Five fresh drugs were introduced to the market offering better management and lesser side effects. All five, which includes daclatasvir and sofosbuvir, were included in the Essential Medicines List.
Use of Off-label drug is also basically supported in situations where major beneficial evidence to the patient’s health is present, though not explicitly indicated for a specific ailment, like some medications for youngsters.
“The Essential Medicines List includes medicines on the basis of safety and efficacy evidence, not on the basis of approved indications,” Dr. Kees De Joncheere said, the Director of Essential Medicines for WHO.
Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny, the health systems and innovation asst. director-general of WHO, added that the Essential Medicines List is not the finish line but a starting point.