Essential medicines and health products

WHO recommendations endorsed by 61st UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna

On 14 March, the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) unanimously endorsed WHO recommendations to place 12 New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) under international control. NPS are synthetic substances that produce similar effects to illegal drugs (like cocaine or ecstasy).

New progress report on access to treatment for hepatitis C

The latest "Progress report on access to hepatitis C treatment" in now out. It tracks progress in access to hepatitis C treatment since 2016 and in 23 low- and middle-income countries. It also provides information from innovator and generic manufacturers and multiple partner organizations working in the field of viral hepatitis. Read the report and related materials

WHO prequalifies breakthrough vaccine for typhoid

At the end of December 2017, WHO prequalified the first conjugate vaccine for typhoid, Bharat Biotech’s Typbar-TCV®. Typhoid conjugate vaccines (TCVs) are innovative products that have longer-lasting immunity than older vaccines, require fewer doses, and can be given to young children through routine childhood immunization programs. The fact that the vaccine has been prequalified by WHO means that it meets acceptable standards of quality, safety and efficacy.
This makes the vaccine eligible for procurement by UN agencies, such as UNICEF, and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.

WHO prequalifies over 17 vector control products, paving way for increased control of malaria and other major vector-borne diseases

18 December 2017 - In the fastest ever prequalification process, WHO has assessed and listed 17 products for use in controlling vector borne diseases, including long lasting insecticidal bed nets, indoor residual sprays, space sprays, larvicides and insecticide-treated net kits.

WHO recommends the most stringent level of international control for synthetic opioid carfentanil

WHO has this week endorsed a recommendation from the Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) to include carfentanil, an analogue of the prescription opioid fentanyl, into Schedules I and IV of the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. Schedule I substances are subject to strict drug control measures. Additional control under Schedule IV imposes the strongest possible regulations on substances by prohibiting production and supply of substances except under licence for specific purposes, such as medical treatment and research. In the case of carfentanil, there is no indication for human use.

The WHO essential medicines and health products programme works to increase access to essential, high-quality, safe, effective and affordable medical products.