NEWS | WHO Updates Essential Medicines List, Adds New Medicines for Thalassaemia

The World Health Organisation (WHO) published the Model Lists of Essential Medicines (EML) and Essential Medicines for Children (EMLc) yesterday, July 26, 2023, including for the first time ever all three iron chelating drugs used to treat patients with thalassaemia; deferoxamine (DFO), deferiprone (DFP), and deferasirox (DFX).

Until recently, the WHO EML recommended only deferoxamine for iron chelation, limiting patients’ access to other crucial pharmacological alternatives for the effective management of their condition. Since 2019, the Thalassaemia International Federation (TIF) has spearheaded a strong advocacy effort to include both deferiprone and deferasirox in the EML, ensuring that treating physicians and patients worldwide can access all available alternatives.

The Federation welcomes with gratitude the decision of WHO, with whom it works in official relations since 1996, to take into account its recommendations and update the EML and is confident that this move will have a positive impact on the care provided to its patient communities.

TIF would also like to thank its team members, expert collaborators and partners for their time and efforts.

For over 40 years, countries all over the world have relied on the WHO EML and EMLc for the development and updating of national essential medicines lists, as they are definitive, evidence-based guides to the most important medicines that satisfy a population’s priority health care needs and are intended to be available at all times and at affordable prices in functioning health systems.

Every two years, the WHO Model Lists are revised and published.

The 2023 editions include also key new medicines for the treatment of multiple sclerosis, cancer, infectious diseases, and cardiovascular conditions, among others.

Download the EML2023

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