PATH, WHO and UNFPA published in 2006 the Guiding principles for inclusion essential medicines for reproductive health on national medicines lists

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WHO, UNFPA, and other agencies have collaborated to establish a common nonproprietary list of essential reproductive health medicines. This introductory guide is a companion to that work and provides an overview of the process for including reproductive health medicines on national essential medicines lists at the country level based on the essential medicines concept. The guide also presents the rationale for including these medicines on national essential medicines lists.

The guide is organised into three main sections:

  • Reproductive health: a public health priority highlights the consequences of poor reproductive health and the importance of devoting resources to its betterment. This section is particularly relevant to EML managers and pharmaceutical services staff.
  • EMLs: application of a global concept provides a brief overview of the concept of EMLs and their significance. This section is particularly relevant to reproductive health programme managers, advocates, and policymakers.
  • Adding reproductive health medicines to EMLs outlines the steps necessary for including reproductive health medicines on country-level EMLs. This section is particularly relevant to reproductive health programme managers, advocates, and policymakers.

The guide also contains four appendices.

  • Appendix 1 is the Interagency List of Essential Medicines for Reproductive Health.
  • Appendix 2 is a checklist of activities to ensure that reproductive health medicines are included on national essential medicines lists.
  • Appendix 3 includes the necessary information for adding a medicine to, changing, or deleting a medicine from the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines.
  • Appendix 4 contains policy briefs for 16 essential reproductive health medicines. These briefings provide clinical evidence and other information needed by national-level essential medicines committees considering inclusion of a new reproductive health medicine on their own national essential medicines lists.
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