Issue: July 2015
July 15, 2015
1 min read

WHO Releases 2015 Essential Medicines List, Including HCV Drugs

Issue: July 2015
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The World Health Organization has released the 2015 edition of its Model List of Essential Medicines, which includes the newest treatments for hepatitis C virus infection.

The list consists of two parts: a core list, which presents a list of the most efficacious, safe and cost-effective medicines for priority conditions, and a complementary list of essential medicines for priority diseases for which specialized diagnostic or monitoring facilities or specialist medical care and training are needed, according to the report.

Essential medicines for HCV include: sofosbuvir (Sovaldi, Gilead Sciences); simeprevir (Olysio, Janssen Pharmaceuticals); daclatasvir (Daklinza, Bristol-Myers Squibb); dasabuvir (AbbVie); and ribavirin. These medicines are included in the list based on current evidence, according to the report.

WHO Graphic 

Pegylated interferon alfa-2a or 2b is listed under the complementary list and is meant to be used in combination with ribavirin, according to the list.

Essential antiviral fixed-dose combination therapies for HCV include: Harvoni ledipasvir and sofosbuvir (Harvoni, Gilead Sciences) and dasabuvir/ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir (Viekira Pak, AbbVie).

Also mentioned on the essential medicines core list were entecavir (Baraclude, Bristol-Myers Squibb) and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (Viread, Gilead Sciences) for the treatment of hepatitis B virus infection.

The medicines list is updated every 2 years through a committee, whose goal is to examine the latest, most cost-effective and beneficial medicines to update and improve access to vital medications for both adults and children, according to the WHO website.