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WHO’s Updated Essential Medicines List Includes Section Ranking Antibiotics To Address Drug Resistance

Intellectual Property Watch: New WHO Essential Medicines List: Antibiotics, Hepatitis C, Leukemia, TB
“…The Model List of Essential Medicines issued [Tuesday] is the 40th edition, which ‘is an international blueprint for the most important medicines at our disposal to address global priority diseases,’ Marie-Paule Kieny, assistant director general, Health Systems and Innovation, told a press briefing [Tuesday]. The WHO also issued a Model List of Essential Medicines for Children…” (Saez, 6/6).

Reuters: WHO ranks antibiotics in a bid to counter drug resistance
“The World Health Organization published a new classification of antibiotics on Tuesday that aims to fight drug resistance, with penicillin-type drugs recommended as the first line of defense and others only for use when absolutely necessary…” (Miles, 6/6).

STAT: In bid to fight superbugs, WHO tries to keep certain antibiotics largely off the table
“…The section on antibiotics divides these critical drugs into three categories. Those that should be go-to drugs for common infections are listed as ‘access’ antibiotics. Others for which growing resistance is a problem are listed under the category ‘watch’ to signal they should not be first or second options. The final category is ‘reserve’ — a name that signals that these are drugs that should only be used to treat infections for which other options have failed…” (Branswell, 6/6).

U.N. News Centre: Updating essential drugs list, U.N. health agency aims to preserve potency of ‘last resort’ antibiotics
“…In addition to the antibiotics, new drugs included in the WHO Essentials Medicines List (EML) contain new medicines, such as two oral cancer treatments, a new pill for hepatitis C (HepC) that combines two medicines, a more effective treatment for HIV as well as an older drug that can be taken to prevent HIV infection in people at high risk, new pediatric formulations of medicines for tuberculosis (TB), and pain relievers…” (6/6).

Washington Post: WHO creates controversial ‘reserve’ list of antibiotics for superbug threats
“…The updates are part of the WHO’s Model Lists of Essential Medicines for 2017, which is updated every two years as a guide for what each country should stock. The list is used by many national governments as the basis of their own recommendations, regulations, and insurance coverage decisions…” (Cha, 6/6).

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