PrEP Has Been Labeled An ‘Essential Medicine’ By World Health Organisation
New guidance on antibiotics for common infections and medicines for the more severe circumstances, is among the additions to the WHO Model list of essential medicines for 2017. Other extensions include medications for HIV, hepatitis C, and tuberculosis.
In the biggest revision of the antibiotics section in the EML’s 40-year history, WHO experts have grouped antibiotics into three categories – ACCESS, WATCH, and RESERVE – with recommendations on when each class should be used. Additionally, the WHO has added HIV PrEP to its list of essential medicines "with tenofovir alone, or in combination with emtricitabine or lamivudine, to prevent HIV infection," and dolutegravir "for treatment of HIV infection, in response to the most recent evidence showing the medicine’s safety, efficacy, and high barrier to resistance."
“Today’s addition of pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, to the World Health Organisation’s Essential Medicines List, is yet further evidence for the need to make this vital HIV prevention tool available to people at risk of HIV here in the UK,” said Dr. Michael Brady, Medical Director at Terrence Higgins Trust. “We must not let PrEP become a postcode lottery – it should be available to all those at risk, as soon as possible, regardless of where they live,” - Dr. Brady added.
The World Health Organisation Model list of essential medicines was originally launched in 1977, coinciding with the endorsement by governments at the World Health Assembly of “Health for all” as the guiding principle for WHO and countries’ health policies.