WHO Starts Work On Essential List Of Diagnostics To Facilitate Access, Lower Prices 16/06/2017 by Catherine Saez, Intellectual Property Watch 1 Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The World Health Organization announced yesterday that it has begun work on a list of essential diagnostics, as an echo of its Model List of Essential Medicines. According to a WHO release, the Essential Diagnostics List is indented to provide “evidence-based guidance to countries to create their own national lists of essential diagnostic tests and tools.” WHO headquarters in GenevaCopyright : WHO/Pierre Virot Earlier this month the WHO published its 20th Model List of Essential Medicines (IPW, WHO, 6 June 2017). This essential list of medicines “have been successful in facilitating access to treatment and promoting affordable prices, particularly in low-resources countries,” the release says, adding that same results would be expected for diagnostic tests. The elaboration of this list comes after a recommendation included in the report [pdf] of the WHO Expert Committee on the Selection of Essential Medicines, which further recommended that the essential diagnostics list focuses on priority areas, such as TB, malaria, HIV, and Hepatitis B & C, but “expanded as soon as possible to other important conditions, including other antimicrobials and non-communicable diseases.” The report suggests that the Model List of Essential Medicines serves as a model for the diagnostic list, and the list “should be instrumental in developing medical guidelines as well as laboratory-accreditation schemes.” According to the release, as a first step, WHO is creating a Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on In Vitro Diagnostics (SAGE IVD), which will advise WHO on global policies and the development of the essential diagnostic list. NGOs Highlight Campaign The US-based Global Health Technologies Coalition issued a statement [pdf] highlighting an advocacy campaign of several groups on the essential diagnostics list. The advocacy campaign included researchers at McGill University, University of Michigan, GHTC, FIND, and other organizations, “urging WHO to establish an EDL to complement the existing EML and guide countries in procuring diagnostics needed to enable safe and appropriate use of medicines on the EML.” The statement said: “Diagnostic tools are critical to ensuring patients receive the right treatment, reducing the overuse of antibiotics, and enabling an effective response to disease outbreaks. However, access to diagnostic tools remains a considerable challenge in many low- and middle-income countries, either because existing tools are too costly and not appropriate for low-resource settings, or because diagnostic tests have not yet been developed for many neglected diseases. The creation of an EDL could help advance diagnostic access by helping countries better prioritize diagnostic testing and infrastructure needs, improving affordability by facilitating bulk purchasing, and spurring development of new in vitro diagnostics (IVDs) by identifying unmet diagnostic needs and informing the efforts of diagnostic developers, industry, and donor funders.” “No person should receive the wrong treatment for want of the right diagnostic tool,” Jamie Bay Nishi, director of GHTC, said in the statement. “Diagnostics are a vital component of delivering quality health care worldwide. We applaud WHO’s decision to establish an Essential Diagnostics List. It’s is a simple, cost-effective approach that will improve diagnostic access and innovation and ultimately save lives.” Image Credits: WHO Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related Catherine Saez may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org."WHO Starts Work On Essential List Of Diagnostics To Facilitate Access, Lower Prices" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.