Comparative analysis of essential medicines for cardiovascular diseases in countries of the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region



Mehrtash H, Laing R, Wirtz VJ.


East Mediterr Health J. 2018 Jul 17;24(5):427-434. doi: 10.26719/2018.24.5.427.


BACKGROUND: Adequate access to essential medicines for cardiovascular disease is necessary to address the high cardiovascular disease burden in countries of the Eastern Mediterranean Region of the World Health Organization (WHO). AIMS: This study compared the cardiovascular disease medicines included in the WHO Model Essential Medicines List with those in the national essential medicines lists of 19 countries of the Region. METHODS: Data were extracted on the number of cardiovascular medicines and dosage forms in the national lists and compared with those on the WHO Model List (24 medicines in total and 48 dosage forms). Factors associated with the number of essential cardiovascular medicines on the national lists (burden of cardiovascular diseases and health expenditure per capita) were assessed. The number of medicines from 6 therapeutic groups of cardiovascular medicines listed in the national lists but not in the core WHO Model List were evaluated. RESULTS: Countries with the lowest percentage of medicines from the WHO Model List out of the total cardiovascular disease medicines in the national lists were Djibouti (21%), Tunisia (22%), Saudi Arabia and Iraq (31% each), and Bahrain and Libya (32% each). The most common medicine dosage form in the national lists was tablets while some that needed oral liquid forms were not listed by any country. Tunisia (8%), Jordan (14%), Bahrain and Saudi Arabia (15% each) had the lowest alignment of dosage forms from the WHO model list. CONCLUSIONS: Countries should improve the selection of essential medicines for cardiovascular diseases to promote access to therapy. CI – Copyright © World Health Organization (WHO) 2018. Some rights reserved. This work is available under the CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO license (

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Link/DOI: 10.26719/2018.24.5.427