Online Program

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

Monday, November 2, 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
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 emphasizes that there must be an 80% availability for essential NCD medicines, among them cardiovascular medicines.

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

Methods: The comparative analysis between WHO EML and National EML involved three steps: 1.Comparison at medicinal level (generic name). 2. Comparison at product presentation level (tablets, liquid, etc). 3. Comparison of complementary medicine therapeutic group.

Results: The average number of WHO essential cardiovascular medicines across the NEMLs was 18 out of 24 on the WHO EML. Some of the most listed medicines were digoxin and methyldopa and some of the least medicines were bisoprolol and metroprolol. The average number of WHO essential cardiovascular product presentations was 19 of 48. Countries such as Yemen and Somalia have gaps in their selection of medicines from required therapeutic groups whereas others, like Tunisia, Iraq and Jordan, list more than three from the same group.

Conclusions: Not listing certain product presentations, such as liquid form of diuretics means that certain patient groups (e.g. elderly or children) face access barriers to take the required medicines. Several countries can improve their selection by adding at least one cardiovascular medicine from the required therapeutic groups or increase their efficiency by being more selective and only listing up to two medicines per therapeutic group.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
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 cardiovascular disease 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

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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