Could the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines Do More for the Safe and Appropriate Use of Injections?
From the Department of Essential Drugs and Medicines Policy, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland (S. M. D. Logez, K. Holloway, R. Gray, H. V. Hogerzeil) and the Department of Essential Health Technology, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland (Y. J. F. Hutin).
Dr. Sophie Logez, Department of Essential Drugs and Medicines Policy, World Health Organization, Avenue Appia 20, CH 1211, Geneva 27, Switzerland.
A national drug policy addressing the safe and appropriate use of injections is an important element to prevent overuse and unsafe use of injections. Because the World Health Organization World Health Organization Model List of Essential Medicines is a keystone of national drug policies, the authors examined the way it addresses injection practices. They reviewed the 11th World Health Organization Model List of Essential Medicines to collect information on (1) injectable medicines, (2) diluents, and (3) the recommendations regarding the procurement of injection devices. Of 306 active ingredients on the list, 135 (44%) are mentioned in injectable form. Of these, 41 (30%) need diluents for reconstitution. The list does not mention the need to procure appropriate diluents, injection devices, and safety boxes in quantities that match the quantities of injectable medicines. In addition, the list provides limited information that can be used to forecast the needs of injection devices to administer the injectable medicines that are included in the list. Future revisions of the World Health Organization Model List of Essential Medicines should attempt to reduce the number of injectable formulations on the basis of evidence. In addition, the list should specify that when injectable medicines are being supplied, diluents, single-use syringes, and safety boxes should be supplied. The volume of syringes needed for administration should be specified for each injectable medica