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The World Health Organization List of "Essential Drugs"

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Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology; University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry; Rochester, New York

Ann Intern Med. 1980;93(2):368-369. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-93-2-368
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In 1977, the World Health Organization (WHO) created consternation in some quarters by publishing a list of "essential drugs"(1). It has now issued a revised version of this list (2), and more rumbles can be expected.

As before, WHO proposes this list only as a "model which can furnish a basis for countries to identify their own priorities and to make their own selection." In 1978 the World Health Assembly urged developing countries in particular to establish their own national lists of essential drugs, recognizing the wide variation in national health needs and health services. Nevertheless, inevitably such a list,


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