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Essential medicines for children
  1. Kalle Hoppu1,
  2. Shalini Sri Ranganathan2
  1. 1Hospital for Children and Adolescents and Department of Clinical Pharmacology, University of Helsinki and Poison Information Centre, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland
  2. 2Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Colombo, Sri Lanka
  1. Correspondence to Kalle Hoppu, Poison Information Centre, Helsinki University Central Hospital, P.O. Box 790, Helsinki 00029, Finland; kaarlo.hoppu{at}hus.fi

Abstract

Millions of children die every year before they reach the age of 5 years, of conditions largely treatable with existing medicines. The WHO Model List of Essential Medicines was launched in 1977 to make the most necessary drugs available to populations whose basic health needs could not be met by the existing supply system. During the first 30 years of the Model List of Essential Medicines, children's needs were not systematically considered. After adoption of the ‘Better medicines for children’ resolution by the World Health Assembly, things changed. The first WHO Model List of Essential Medicines for Children was drawn up by a Paediatric Expert Subcommittee and adopted in October 2007. The most recent, 4th Model List of Essential Medicines for Children was adopted in 2013. Data from country surveys show that access to essential medicines for children is still generally poor; much more work is needed.

  • Pharmacology
  • Health Service
  • Therapeutics
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