Essential medicines and health products

Medicines and health products news

Developing health care guidelines in Estonia: a model for other countries

Estonia has created a cost-effective guidelines development tool to inform health care policy and practice. WHO hopes the tool will serve as a model for other countries aiming to improve the quality of their health services. Developing standard treatment clinical practice guidelines for medicines, for example, promotes therapeutically effective and economically efficient good quality prescribing, by listing the preferred pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical treatments for common health problems.

WHO to fast-track availability of diagnostics for Zika virus

zika test laboratory

Increasing cases of microcephaly and Guillain-Barre syndrome apparently associated with Zika virus disease have led WHO to declare the current outbreak in Latin America a public health emergency of international concern.

There are no existing medical countermeasures to prevent or treat Zika on the market today, and many diagnostic tests are still in the early stages of development. Of those diagnostic tests commercially available, very few have undergone regulatory premarket assessment.

Minister of Health of Viet Nam signs Antimicrobial resistance pledge


The World Health Organization in Viet Nam (WHO) and the government of Viet Nam join hands to organize the first national Antibiotic Awareness Week, which will run on 16-22 November. Antimicrobial resistance in Viet Nam is affecting the health of the population and weakening the health care system. In 2013 Viet Nam became the first country in WHO’s Western Pacific Region to approve a national action plan to combat drug resistance. In observing the first Antibiotics Awareness Week Viet Nam is reiterating its commitment to combat Antibiotics resistance.

A possible boost for patient safety in South-East Asia region


India aims to become a watchdog for drug safety in the South East Asia Region, according to the country’s Minister for Health and Family Welfare, J. P. Nadda. The announcement came at the WHO annual meeting of national pharmacovigilance centres in New Delhi on 4-6 November.


Meeting and events

Substandard, Spurious, Falsely labelled, Falsified and Counterfeit, Member State Mechanism Steering Committee

23–24 March 2016
Geneva, Switzerland

62nd INN Consultation on International Nonproprietary Names (INN) for Pharmaceutical Substances

12 - 15 April 2016
Geneva, Switzerland

13th WHO Advisory Committee on Safety of Medical Products (ACSoMP) meeting

28–29 April 2016
Geneva, Switzerland

Open-ended Meeting of WHO Member States

Follow-up of the report of the Consultative Expert Working Group on Research and Development: Financing and Coordination (CEWG)

WHA68 - World health assembly

16 - 20 May 2016
Geneva - Switzerland