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WHO Issues Proposal for Model List of Essential Diagnostics

NEW YORK (360Dx) – The World Health Organization has issued a proposal for a Model List of Essential In Vitro Diagnostics that takes aim at improving test access and guiding safe and rational use of medicines from the WHO Model Lists of Essential Medicines.

The organization's existing lists of essential medicines are among its most recognized and valued products, the WHO said in its proposal, and added that the lists play an important role in healthcare policy, primarily in low- and middle-income countries. A list of essential diagnostic tests has the potential to have a similar effect, the WHO added.

The proposal lays out how the WHO plans to develop and implement the list with the goal of having the first version of a plan by early 2019, Marissa Chmiola, a spokesperson for the Global Health Technologies Coalition, wrote in an e-mail to 360Dx.

GHTC, an advocacy organization focusing on global health R&D for new tools and technologies, had recently joined other healthcare groups and professionals in requesting that the WHO establish an essential diagnostics list.

That list would identify the most relevant diagnostics tools by disease area, and nations would then decide which tools they need based on the disease burden of that country, Matthew Robinson, policy and advocacy officer for GHTC, said recently in an interview.