The WHO Expert Committee on the Use of Essential Drugs met in Geneva from 15 to 19 December 1999. The meeting was opened on behalf of the Director-General by Dr M. Scholtz, Executive Director of Health Technology and Pharmaceuticals, who emphasized that the concept of essential drugs was fundamental to the development of national drug policies. Regular updating of WHO’s Model List of Essential Drugs sustained the momentum of WHO’s revised drug strategy (1), as endorsed by the World Health Assembly in resolution WHA 39.27 in 1986 (2), and was a basic element of the validated information required by most of WHO’s Member States for optimal rationalization of drug procurement and supply. Dr Scholtz also emphasized the increasing interest in and need for evidence-based decisions in the selection of essential drugs.
The Committee decided to prepare its report as a self-contained document. The eleventh Model List of Essential Drugs will be found in section 12 of the report, and explanations of the changes in section 13.