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[e-drug] WHO Model Fromulary released

  • Subject: [e-drug] WHO Model Fromulary released
  • From: hogerzeilh@who.int
  • Date: Thu, 5 Sep 2002 09:01:18 -0400 (EDT)

E-DRUG: WHO Model Fromulary released
[With the release of the WHO Model Formulary, WHO has made an important
step for the essential drug movement. Well done, WHO!
The price is SFr 40 (about $26) per copy (pocket size, plastic cover, 516
pages) and SFr 28 (about $18) for developing countries.
Electronic copies promised for WHO's website. Not yet having broadband
Internet? Ask them to release the CD-ROM very soon!  WB]


Guide Promotes Consumer Rights and Patient Safety

Geneva - In its efforts to promote safe and cost-effective use of
medicines, the World Health Organization (WHO) today releases the first
edition of the WHO Model Formulary.  The formulary is the first ever
publication to give comprehensive information on all 325 medicines
contained in the WHO Model List of Essential Drugs.  It presents
information on the recommended use, dosage, adverse effects,
contra-indications and warnings of these medicines.  Correct use of this
tool will improve patient safety and limit superfluous medical spending.

Bad prescribing habits are very common in all countries of the world.
They lead to ineffective and unsafe treatment, exacerbation or
prolongation of illness and harm to the patient.  In addition,
inappropriate treatment increases the costs to the patient, the insurance
system or the government.

The new formulary is primarily intended as a model for national
governments and institutions, to be used as a basis for developing their
own national formularies. It is particularly relevant for developing
countries, where commercial and promotional materials are often the only
available source of drug information to health workers, prescribers and
patients.  The WHO formulary may also be useful for individual prescribers
- and for this reason it is available at reduced cost for developing

"Unfortunately, developing countries do not always have access to unbiased
information about medicines," explains Dr Hans Hogerzeil, from the
Essential Drugs and Medicines Policy department at WHO.   "The formulary
aims to address that problem and provide a service based solely on
scientific evidence."

It is estimated that only two-thirds of developing country populations
have some form of access to essential medicines.  For those countries,
pharmaceuticals can represent as much as 40% of the health care budget.
Because of its considerable impact on the quality of care and the cost of
treatment, the selection of essential medicines and their appropriate use
constitute the most effective approach to improving equitable access to
health care.

This principle also applies to industrialized countries, where questions
of medical insurance coverage are always important concerns for the public
and central to policy debates.

The WHO Model List of Essential Medicines, recently updated to include 12
essential antiretroviral medicines for the treatment of HIV/AIDS, is
compiled to focus pharmaceutical efforts on priority conditions and
quality medicines that are the most cost-effective and safe, and as
affordable as possible. For instance, the vast majority of medicines
contained in the WHO Model List are well-known and well-established
pharmaceuticals which are off patent and available from many sources.

To make access to information as wide as possible, the WHO Model Formulary
will be available on the internet at the following address:
www.who.int/medicines. A CD-ROM version is in preparation.

Contact :
Hans Hogerzeil, World Health Organization, tel +41 79 249 35 09
Daniela Bagozzi, Communications Officer, World Health Organization; tel. +
41 22 791 45 44/ +41 79 475 54 90.

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