STOP PRESS – The new WHO Essential Medicines List has just been published

Updates to the mifepristone-misoprostol combi-pack listing include: 

  • Mifepristone-misoprostol have been moved from the Complementary List to the Core Model List of Essential Medicines. 
  • An asterisk has been removed that stated that close medical supervision is required for administration of mifepristone-misoprostol for medical abortion.
  • Dosage form included for the combi-pack containing: mifepristone 200 milligram tablet [1] and misoprostol 200 microgram tablet [4].

Not changed in new list: 

  • The statement “where permitted under national law and where culturally acceptable” was not removed.

This is an important success and will add weight to calls for countries to approve both kinds of pills for abortion in national essential medicines lists. It’s a pity but not a surprise that the text limiting approval to countries where permitted under national law was not changed. This arises from a compromise clause in the International Conference on Population and Development 1994 Programme of Action that was seen to be crucial for allowing safe abortion to be mentioned at all. It has, however, dogged our paths and served as a restriction in all sorts of documents, like this one, ever since.

See the full updated 21st Model List of Essential Medicines 2019

SOURCE: E-mail, Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition, 9 July 2019