The World Health Organization has revealed that it has included diabetes and cancer treatments on its lists of new essential medicines, explaining that high prices and lack of availability remain a major obstacle to patients’ access to new and old medicines.
New medicines for diabetics
The World Health Organization has published the new version of its Model Lists of Essential Medicines for Children, which include new treatments for various types of cancer, insulin analogs, new oral medicines for diabetes, new medicines to help people who want to quit smoking, and new antibiotics to treat bacterial and fungal infections. serious.
The lists aim to prioritize global health, identifying drugs that provide the greatest benefits, and which should be available and affordable to all, however, the high prices of both new patented medicines and older medicines, such as insulin, continue to keep Some essential medicines are out of reach of many patients.
“Diabetes is on the rise globally, and it is increasing faster in low- and middle-income countries,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization. Go without it and lose their lives The inclusion of insulin analogues in the EML, along with efforts to ensure affordable access to all insulin products and to expand the use of biosimilars is a vital step towards ensuring access to this life-saving product for everyone who needs it. “.
Cancer treatment drugs
Medicines for diabetes
Insulin was discovered as a treatment for diabetes 100 years ago, and human insulin has been on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines since it was first published in 1977. Unfortunately, the limited supply of insulin and high prices in many low- and middle-income countries are currently a major barrier. In front of treatment, for example, in the capital of Ghana, Accra, the amount of insulin required for a month of the worker costs the equivalent of 5.5 days of wages per month, explaining that insulin production is concentrated in a few manufacturing facilities, and 3 manufacturers control most of the global market, with Lack of competition, which led to high prices for many people and health systems.
He said: The transition to listing long-acting insulin analogues (insulin degludec, detemir and glargine) and biosimilars, along with human insulin, aims to increase access to diabetes treatment by broadening the choice of treatment, noting that inclusion in the list means that the analogues Bio-insulins could qualify for WHO pre-qualification program WHO pre-qualification could lead to more quality-assured biological alternatives entering the international market, creating competition to lower prices and giving countries a greater choice of products.
Long-acting insulin analogues offer some additional clinical benefits to patients through their extended duration of action, ensuring that blood glucose levels can be controlled over longer periods of time without the need for a booster dose. They provide a particular benefit to patients with dangerously low blood glucose levels. Blood with human insulin Greater flexibility in timing and dosing of insulin analogues has been shown to improve quality of life for patients with diabetes, however, human insulin remains an essential component of diabetes treatment, and support for access to this life-saving drug must continue With better availability and affordability.
The list includes empagliflozin, canagliflozin and dapagliflozin as a second-line treatment in adults with type 2 diabetes, and these oral medications have been shown to provide many benefits, including a reduced risk of death, kidney failure, and cardiovascular disease, because it is shown Its inclusion in the list comes with a recommendation that the WHO work with the Medicines Patent Pool to enhance access through potential licensing agreements with patent holders to allow generic manufacturing and supply in low- and middle-income countries..
Improving access to diabetes medicines, including insulin and medicines to treat type 2 diabetes, is one of the lines of action of the Global Compact on Diabetes, launched by the World Health Organization in April 2021, and is a major topic under discussion with manufacturers of diabetes medicines.
Cancers are among the leading causes of disease and death worldwide, causing nearly 10 million deaths in 2020, and 7 out of 10 occurring in low- and middle-income countries. New breakthroughs in cancer treatment have been made in recent years, such as Drugs that target specific molecular characteristics of the tumor, some of which provide much better results than “conventional” chemotherapy for many types of cancer, 4 new cancer drugs have been added to the model lists such as:Enzalutamide , as an alternative to abiraterone, for prostate cancer, and as a drug EverolimusGiant cell astrocytoma (SEGA) A type of brain tumor in children, and a drugIbrutinib It is a drug directed against chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and a drug Rasburicase .
The World Health Organization includes anti-cancer and diabetes medicines on the list of essential medicines
The drug imatinib has also been added. On the list of treatments The drug “imatinib” is one of the tyrosine kinase inhibitors, and it is used to treat cancer, specifically chronic myeloid leukemia, new pediatric cancer drugs have been added to the list of 16 drugs already listed, including low-grade glioma, which is the most common form. Most common brain tumors in children.
A group of antibodies that enhance the immune response to cancer cells have also been included, adding: It was not recommended to include some immune drugs in the list for the treatment of a number of lung cancers, despite their effectiveness, mainly because they are expensive, and there are concerns that they may be difficult to use in Under-resourced health systems, inclusion of other cancer drugs was not recommended due to uncertain additional clinical benefits over already listed drugs, higher prices, and use issues in under-resourced settings.