Medicines consume a significant portion of the total health care budget.
Equitable access to affordable medicines remains a challenge. In accordance with the National Drug Policy, the Standard Treatment Guidelines and Essential Medicines List ensure that cost-effective treatment options are available to citizens of
the country, and seeks to build capacity in health care workers at the Primary
Health Care Level.
Emerging developments in medicine and scientifi c advances provided the basis for the review of the Standard Treatment Guidelines and Essential Medicine List. During this process consideration was given to factors such as evidence based therapeutics, prevailing medicine cost and practical experience. Where
necessary, expert opinion was solicited.
Consultation with wider stakeholders is an integral part of the review process.
I am pleased to note that as a result of the productive feedback of users, this
new edition has been completely updated and substantially improved.
Efforts have been made to ensure that Guidelines of priority programmes such as HIV and AIDS, TB, Chronic diseases, IMCI, etc are harmonised with the Standard Treatment Guidelines and Essential Medicine List.
An appeal is being made to all users to follow the recommended guidelines at the back of the book when submitting comments or requesting additions or deletions of medicines from the list. Users are also encouraged to use the Adverse Drug Reaction Report Forms in the book. This will ensure that the quality of service
is enhanced and will guide selection of appropriate medicine in future.