WHO Names Drugs For ‘Neglected’ Diseases To Essential Medicines List

“A 10-year-old program to develop drugs for ‘neglected’ diseases scored an important victory this month when three of its medicines were named essential drugs by the [WHO],” the New York Times reports. “The medicines that made the list are for three lethal insect-borne diseases: malaria, Chagas and sleeping sickness,” the newspaper notes, adding, “They exemplify how complicated it can be to develop a new drug with a low profit margin.” According to the newspaper, Nathalie Strub Wourgaft, medical director of the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative, said a drug’s acceptance on the list “indicates that it’s a priority treatment for a priority disease.” She added, “This validates the credibility of what we and our partners have been doing,” the New York Times notes (McNeil, 7/15).