October 01, 2021, 1:10 a.m.
Geneva (dpa) Every two years the World Health Organization updates the list of essential medicines. This time, for the first time, there are two drugs for the treatment of nicotine addiction.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has put two drugs to treat nicotine addiction on its must-have list for the first time.
So far, only nicotine substitutes were listed there for smokers who want to get rid of their addiction. The newly added drugs are bupropion (trade name Zyban) and varenicline (Champix). They are already approved in Germany and require a prescription. The WHO published the new list on Friday.
The list is updated every two years. There are now 479 drugs for adults and 350 for children on it. SHE contains medicinal products which, according to medical assessments, are necessary for the basic care of the population. It serves as a guideline for health authorities that approve or procure drugs. Governments without their own regulatory authorities often adhere to them because the drugs have already been tested by the WHO for safety, effectiveness and good value for money.
Unfortunately, drugs with patent protection are still unaffordable for many patients in poorer countries, reported the WHO. This includes insulin. In Accra, the capital of Ghana, a diabetic has to work five days for his monthly insulin requirement. Three manufacturers controlled practically the entire market, a lack of competition keeps prices high.
That is why the WHO has now also put long-acting insulin analogues on the list, including artificially produced proteins that are structurally related to human insulin. This makes it possible for the WHO to also test and recommend such imitation products (biosimilars). Such insulin analogues are also already approved in Germany.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 211001-99-435531 / 2