The World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva announced on Tuesday its latest update on a list of essential drugs that should be widely available at affordable prices as well as basic disease diagnoses for timely detection.
WHO has developed two lists focusing on cancer and other global health challenges, as well as effective solutions, priorities and optimal patient access.
“More than 150 countries are using WHO’s list of essential drugs to guide decisions on the best value medicines based on evidence and health impact,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, adding that the inclusion of the latest cancer drugs in the new list is an important step. To ensure that everyone deserves access to these lifesaving medicines.
The WHO said it has added 12 tests to the diagnostic list to detect a wide range of tumors such as colorectal cancer, cervical cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, leukemia and lymphoma, in order to support the proper diagnosis of cancer.
The list has been expanded to include additional general tests that address a range of diseases, such as iron tests (anemia), tests to diagnose thyroid dysfunction and sickle cells, a hereditary form of anemia that is very widespread in sub-Saharan Africa.