Today marks the start of the 18th Meeting of the WHO Expert Committee on the Selection and Use of Essential Medicines. At the weeklong meeting, held in Accra Ghana, the Committee will review 16 applications for the addition of a new medicine to the model list; 7 applications for the addition of a new formulation; and 9 applications for the deletion of a medicine from the list.
Access to appropriate medicines is vital to improving global public health and achieving targets set in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). More than eight million children under the age of five still die every year from causes such as pneumonia, diarrhoea and malaria. The majority of these deaths occur in developing countries and can be prevented when the right medicines are available and are prescribed and used correctly.