Essential medicines and health products

Public hearing on WHO guideline on ensuring balanced national policies for access and safe use of controlled medicines

A public hearing regarding the scope of the WHO guideline on ensuring balanced national policies for access and safe use of controlled medicines, will take place on Wednesday February 19, at 14:00 CET. You can register to submit a written statement, or to present an oral statement at the hearing until Monday February 17, 12.00 CET.

WHO publishes Emergency Use Listing procedure and roadmap to make new medical products more readily available during health emergencies


WHO today published the Emergency Use Listing (EUL) procedure to streamline the process by which new or unlicensed products can be used during public health emergencies. The EUL replaces the Emergency Use Assessment and Listing (EUAL) procedure, which was used during the West Africa Ebola outbreak of 2014-2016.
The EUL is a risk-based procedure for assessing and listing unlicensed vaccines, therapeutics and in vitro diagnostics with the ultimate aim of expediting the availability of these products to people affected by a public health emergency.

WHO calls for sustainable funding to boost vaccine safety systems and communication

At this week’s Global Vaccine Safety Summit, WHO presented its new strategy for 2021-2030 to boost vaccine safety systems in all countries. The strategy provides a strong focus on communicating the safety of vaccines based on robust evidence and leveraging new communication tools and approaches to allow for informed decision-making on vaccination.

WHO launches first-ever insulin prequalification programme to expand access to life-saving treatment for diabetes

The decision, announced ahead of World Diabetes Day (14 November), is part of a series of steps WHO will take to address the growing diabetes burden in all regions. About 65 million people with type 2 diabetes need insulin, but only half of them are able to access it, largely due to high prices. All people with type 1 diabetes need insulin to survive.

WHO prequalifies Ebola vaccine, paving the way for its use in high-risk countries

The World Health Organization (WHO) today prequalified an Ebola vaccine for the first time, a critical step that will help speed up its licensing, access and roll-out in countries most at risk of Ebola outbreaks. This is the fastest vaccine prequalification process ever conducted by WHO.
Prequalification means that the vaccine meets WHO standards for quality, safety and efficacy. United Nations agencies and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, can procure the vaccine for at-risk countries based on this WHO recommendation.

WHO advocates for greater access to cutting-edge technologies at trilateral symposium


Our decade of collaboration exemplifies the type of close cooperation across policy domains that is essential for tackling global public health challenges, and for achieving the healthier, safer, fairer and more prosperous world we all want. The theme of this year’s Symposium, “Cutting-Edge Health Technologies: Opportunities and Challenges,” underscores the power of science, technology, and innovation for improving health. Advances in science and technology are opening up new horizons in public health that were considered science fiction not so very long ago.

WHO signs MoU with International Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Association to promote access

Full access to medicines is hampered by a variety of factors. Two important barriers are high prices and regulatory issues such as long lag times in bringing medicines to market.

To address these issues, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, and Jim Keon, Chair of the International Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Association, today signed a memorandum of understanding.

The WHO essential medicines and health products programme works to increase access to essential, high-quality, safe, effective and affordable medical products.