Table of Contents  
CORRESPONDENCE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 234-235  

Are we moving towards a new definition of essential medicines?


Department of Pharmacology, Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi, India

Date of Submission17-Aug-2015
Date of Acceptance27-Oct-2015
Date of Web Publication15-Dec-2015

Correspondence Address:
Indranil Banerjee
Indranil Banerjee, Department of Pharmacology, Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi - 110 001
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0976-500X.171871

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How to cite this article:
Rehan HS, Banerjee I, Suranagi UD. Are we moving towards a new definition of essential medicines?. J Pharmacol Pharmacother 2015;6:234-5

How to cite this URL:
Rehan HS, Banerjee I, Suranagi UD. Are we moving towards a new definition of essential medicines?. J Pharmacol Pharmacother [serial online] 2015 [cited 2019 Dec 11];6:234-5. Available from: http://www.jpharmacol.com/text.asp?2015/6/4/234/171871

Sir,

At the outset, we take the opportunity to congratulate the editorial team for the timely editorial “Are we moving towards a new definition of essential medicines?” by Manikandan published in your reputed journal.[1] The World Health Organization (WHO) published the first essential medicines list in 1977 and since then, the list has been revised every 2 years. The current one is the 19th model list published in April 2015. The importance of essential medicine list of WHO lies in the fact that it serves as a model for the development of national and institutional essential medicine list. There is paucity of criticism on WHO essential medicine list and in this perspective, the present editorial stands as a welcome initiative.

The editorial mentioned alcohol-based hand rubs are not superior to soap and water, but are more expensive.[1] In this regard, WHO suggested that alcohol-based hand rubs are quick, simple, efficient, and handy and fulfill the highest standards of safety in relation to the prevention of cross-infection.[2] Further, majority (90%) of studies also suggested that alcohol-based hand rubs are superior to soap and water hand washing and, hence, should be used as the first choice for hand hygiene (for non-soiled hands) whenever available.[2]

The editorial also mentioned that daclatasvir and dasabuvir are investigational agents for treatment of hepatitis C infection that find a place in the 19th Model List of Essential Medicines.[1] This brings to notice that daclastvir and dasabuvir have been already approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) to treat hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections.[3],[4],[5],[6]

The editorial also stated that the drug bedaquiline (for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis) has not been registered by any drug regulatory authority as yet.[1] However, bedaquiline was approved by the USFDA in December 2012 for the treatment of adults with multidrug-resistant pulmonary tuberculosis for whom an effective treatment regimen is not otherwise available.[7] On Dec 20, 2013, the EMEA's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) also granted a conditional marketing authorization for bedaquiline for use as part of a combination therapy for pulmonary multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in adult patients.[8] In a recent commentary in the Bulletin of WHO, Magrini et al. advocated the inclusion of bedaquiline owing to the public health relevance and severity of the condition and the lack of alternative treatment options.[9]

This editorial invites further scrutiny of the WHO essential medicines list 19th version, which may prove beneficial for shaping our own National Essential Medicines List which is currently in the process of development.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

 
   References Top

1.
Manikandan S. Are we moving towards a new definition of essential medicines?. J Pharmacol Pharmacother 2015;6:123-5.  Back to cited text no. 1
  Medknow Journal  
2.
System change-Changing hand hygine behavior at the point of care. WHO. Available from: http://www.who.int/gpsc/tools/faqs/system_change/en/. [Last accessed on 2015 Aug 10].  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
US Food and Drug administration. FDA News Release. (Dated July 24, 2015). Available from: http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm455888.htm. [Last accessed on 2015 Aug 10].  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Press Release. European Medicines Agency recommends approval of Daklinza in chronic hepatitis C. Available from: http://www.ema.europa.eu/ema/index.jsp?curl=pages/news_and_events/news/2014/06/news_detail_002133.jspandmid=WC0b01ac058004d5c1. [Last accessed on 2015 Aug 10].  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Available from: http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/Press Announcements/ucm427530.htm. [Last accessed on 2015 Aug 07].  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Meeting highlights from the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) 17-20 November 2014 Available from: http://www.ema.europa.eu/ema/index.jsp?curl=pages/news_and_events/news/2014/11/news_detail_002215.jspandmid=WC0b01ac058004d5c1. [Last accessed on 2015 Aug 07].  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Sirturo (bedaquiline) Product Insert. Silver Spring, MD: Food and Drug Administration; Available from: http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2012/204384s000lbl.pdf. [Last accessed on 2015 Aug 07].  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
European Medicines Agency recommends approval of a new medicine for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. Press Release 20/12/2013. Available from: http://www.ema.europa.eu/ema/index.jsp?curl=pages/news_and_events/news/2013/12/news_detail_001999.jspandmid=WC0b01ac058004d5c1. [Last accessed on 2015 Aug 10].  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
Magrini N, Robertson J, Forte G, Cappello B, Moja LP, de Joncheere K, et al. Tough decisions on essential medicines in 2015. Bull World Health Organ 2015;93:283-4.  Back to cited text no. 9
    




 

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