Should Canada develop a list of essential medicines?

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Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

Tuesday, May 23, 20173:00PM - 5:00PM108N, North House, 1 Devonshire Place
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The World Health Organization recommends that each state define its own list of essential medicines. Essential medicines lists generally contain hundreds of medicines including treatments for acute conditions (e.g. pneumonia, anaphylaxis, sprained ankles) and chronic diseases (e.g. diabetes, HIV-AIDS, hypertension). Lists of essential medicines can help governments ensure adequate healthcare services are delivered by identifying the medications that are needed by people.

More than 100 countries have developed essential medicine lists. Canada is not one of them.

Should Canada develop a list of essential medicines? We will learn from two international experts about the benefits and challenges of creating an essential medicines list: Dr Nicola Magrini from the World Health Organization’s Essential medicines group and Professor Lars Gustaffson from the Swedish “Wise List”. Then we will hear the reactions of Canadian decision makers before we open up the discussion to involve all participants.

This event is supported by the WHO Collaborating Center for Governance, Accountability and Transparency for the Pharmaceutical Sector.


Nicola Magrini
Secretary of the Expert Committee on the Selection and Use of Essential Medicines Policy, Access and Use Team Department of Essential Medicines and Health Products (EMP/PAU) World Health Organization

Lars Gustaffson
Professor, senior consultant Division of Clinical Pharmacology Department of Laboratory Medicine Karolinska Institutet Karolinska University Hospital


WHO Collaborating Centre for Governance, Accountability and Transparency for the Pharmaceutical Sector


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