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J Clin Epidemiol. 2018 Jun;98:41-52. doi: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2018.02.006. Epub 2018 Feb 13.

Essential medicines availability is still suboptimal in many countries: a scoping review.

Author information

1
Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Zenica Cantonal Hospital, Crkvice 67, 72000 Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina; Faculty of Medicine, University of Zenica, Fakultetska 3, 72000 Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
2
Department of Pediatrics, University of Hospital Split, Spinčićeva 1, 21000 Split, Croatia.
3
Central Medical Library, University of Split School of Medicine, Šoltanska 2, 21000 Split, Croatia; Cochrane Croatia, University of Split School of Medicine, Šoltanska 2, 21000 Split, Croatia.
4
Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences and Informatics, University of Edinburgh, Teviot Place, EH8 9 AG Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.
5
Faculty of Pharmacy and Charles Perkins Centre, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales 2006, Australia.
6
Cochrane Croatia, University of Split School of Medicine, Šoltanska 2, 21000 Split, Croatia; Department of Research in Biomedicine and Health, University of Split School of Medicine, Šoltanska 2, 21000 Split, Croatia. Electronic address: ana.marusic@mefst.hr.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To identify uses of WHO Model list of essential medicines (EMs) and summarize studies examining EM and national EM lists (NEMLs).

STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING:

In this scoping review, we searched PubMed, Scopus, WHO website and WHO Regional Databases for studies on NEMLs, reimbursement medicines lists, and WHO EML, with no date or language restrictions.

RESULTS:

Three thousand one hundred forty-four retrieved documents were independently screened by two reviewers; 100 full-text documents were analyzed; 37 contained data suitable for quantitative and qualitative analysis on EMs availability (11 documents), medicines for specific diseases (13 documents), and comparison of WHO EML and NEMLs (13 documents). From the latter, two documents analyzed the relevance of evidence from Cochrane systematic reviews for medicines that were on NEMLs but not on the WHO EML. EMs availability is still suboptimal in low-income countries. Availability of children formulations and EMs for specific diseases such as chronic, cancer, pain, and reproductive health is suboptimal even in middle-income countries.

CONCLUSION:

WHO EML can be used as a basic set of medicines for different settings. More evidence is needed into how NEMLs can contribute to better availability of children formulations, pain, and cancer medicines in developing countries.

KEYWORDS:

Accessibility; Availability; Cochrane; Essential medicines; Scoping review; World Health Organization

PMID:
29452222
DOI:
10.1016/j.jclinepi.2018.02.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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