Online Program

Comparative Analysis of WHO Essential Medicines Listed for Diabetes among 19 Middle Eastern Countries

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Hedieh Mehrtash, Department of Global Health, School of Public Health, Boston University, Boston, MA
Veronika Wirtz, MSc, PhD, Center for Global Health and Development, School of Public Health, Boston University, Boston, MA
Richard O. Laing, MD, MSc, School of Public Health, Boston University, Boston, MA
Background: The WHO defines Essential Medicines as medicines that satisfy the priority health care needs of the population. The WHO non-communicable diseases (NCD) action plan has a global target of 80% availability of affordable essential NCD medicines, among them diabetes medicines.

Objective: To compare the WHO model Essential Medicines List (EML) with the National EMLs of 19 selected Middle Eastern countries for diabetes medicines.

Methods: The comparative analysis between WHO EML and National EML involved three steps: 1. Medicinal level (generic name). 2. Product presentation level (e.g. tablets, injectables ). 3. Additional oral antidiabetic medication not on the WHO EML.

Results: Twelve countries list the two recommended WHO essential oral antidiabetic medications, while six countries list one and one country, Somalia, lists none. For insulin, all countries list short and intermediate insulin, as recommended by WHO with the exception of Somalia that does not include insulin. There were 41 different presentations of insulin among the countries; 19 out of 41 of these were analog insulins. Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Iraq list more than 3 types of insulin for the same category. Two countries (Syria and Bahrain) did not specify the type of insulin listed on its NEML and 3 (Bahrain, Tunisia, Jordan) countries list product names instead of generic names.  

Conclusions: Middle Eastern countries can improve their selection by listing all recommended oral antidiabetic medication, specifying the type of insulin, listing by generic names and selecting only up to two medicines out of a recommended therapeutic group to increase efficiency.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Identify differences that exist between the World Health Organization model Essential Medicines List and the Essential Medicines Lists of a selection of countries in the Middle East for diabetes medicines and to propose some recommendations as to how these countries could address potential gaps with respect to essential medicines for National EMLs in the region.

Keyword(s): International Health, Public Health Policy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be an abstract Author on the content I am responsible for because I have worked for over a year on this topic, have authored project reports and been invited to present to experts in the field of essential medicines and pharmaceuticals. Among my research interests has been access to essential medicines for non-communicable diseases in the Middle East region.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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