In Geneva on the 21st October 2002, the 25th anniversary of WHO’s Model List of Essential Medicines was marked by a day of debate led by international experts. Discussions focused on many aspects of what the List and the essential medicines concept mean to improving public health. One highlight was the keynote speech by WHO’s Director-General, reinforcing the message of the concept’s continuing relevance (see p 12). But celebrations in Switzerland were being mirrored around the world, and here we mention just some of these memorable events.
Nicaragua’s birthday cake. A celebration for the WHO and Nicaraguan Essential Drugs Lists and the country’s Essential Drugs Programme was held in Managua - one of the many popular events worldwide marking this important anniversary
The Christian Medical Association of India organized a press conference on the 25th October 2002, in New Delhi, to celebrate the anniversary. The Community Health Medicinal Unit of Patna “joined hands with WHO” by holding a two-day media orientation and awareness seminar on essential drugs and rational use of drugs. In Calcutta, West Bengal, the Community Development Medicinal Unit hosted a Commemorative Panel Discussion, which attracted an enthusiastic audience of doctors and pharmacists. And at the Mumbai International Training Course on Drug and Therapeutics Committees, an evening was devoted to a talk on 25 years of essential medicines.
“Twenty-five years is a long time for successful implementation of a programme. Yet, the problem of providing equitable and affordable access to safe, effective and quality-assured drugs to people around the world is so vast and so complex that the journey remains far from finished.”
Community Development Medicinal Unit, West Bengal, India.
In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the first day of the 3rd International Seminar on Access to Medicines Fundamental Role of the State, a special session was held to commemorate the anniversary. Eighty participants from 18 countries were unanimous in recognising the universality and increased relevance of the essential medicines concept today.
Russia’s Pharmaceutical Newsletter featured a special article, “The purpose - ensuring access to medicines, to celebrate the jubilee, and the 12th WHO Model List of Essential Medicines”.
See above for more about events in Cambodia.
Further information is available at: http://www.who.int/medicines/organization/par/anniversary.shtml