Are we moving towards a new definition of essential medicines?

by S Manikandan
Journal of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutics, July-September 2015, Vol. 6, Issue 3

3 pp. 407 kB

Essential medicines are defined as “those that satisfy the priority health care needs of the population,” with the concept being that they are intended to be available within the context of a functioning healthcare system at all times, in adequate amounts, in appropriate dosage forms, with assured quality and at a price that individual and country can afford. This concept, though deceptively simple and easy to understand, becomes extremely complex and hard to adhere to when preparing a list for a given country. However, the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) Model List stands out like a guiding beacon and is the gold standard to which all countries compare their selections with and turn to in case they face indecision during selection.

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