International – WHO Updates Lists of Essential Medicines, Diagnostics

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday released the latest lists of essential medicines and essential in vitro diagnostic (IVD) tests, which can help countries prioritize critical health products.

The updated essential medicines list (EML) adds 51 new medicines, bringing the total to 460 medicines. The updated essential diagnostics list (EDL) adds 115 tests to the 113 tests in the first EDL version, published last May.

The focus of the EML is medicines considered to be cost-effective options to meet the most pressing public health needs, whereas the EDL seeks to drive IVD supply for use in community settings and clinical laboratories to support accurate diagnoses.

Both lists include new products for the treatment or detection of cancers. The EML now lists five new cancer therapies for the treatment of melanoma, lung, blood and prostate cancers, while the new EDL catalogs 12 tests to detect solid tumors like breast and liver cancer, among others. A new section on anatomical pathology testing in the EDL also aims to support appropriate cancer diagnoses…