Hepatitis C drugs added to WHO list of essential medicine
The World Health Organization has released a new version of the Model List of Essential Medicines. This includes new treatment options for hepatitis C.12 May 2015
Until recently, treating hepatitis C offered minimal benefits and came with adverse side effects. Five new drugs have been introduced to the market that offer improved treatment and reduced side effects. All five, including daclatasvir and sofosbuvir, have been included in the WHO Essential Medicines List.
Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny, health systems and innovation assistant director-general for the organization, stated that the Essential Medicines List is a starting point, not the finish line. The list exists to offer guidance on which medicines should be prioritized based on a public health and clinical perspective. Once potentially effective drugs have been identified, the challenge shifts to ensuring they are actually available for patients to use.
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