Advocates encourage the establishment of an essential diagnostics list

A resource to efficiently and proactively communicate to country governments the diagnostic tests that are worthy and indeed essential for approval and use is needed.

In an open letter sent to the World Health Organization (WHO) on 26 October 2016, TB advocates encouraged the establishment of a Model List of Essential Diagnostics (EDL) similar to the WHO's existing Model Lists of Essential Medicines (EMLs).

“The WHO EMLs have been fundamental in guiding countries on the appropriate medicines to include in national guidelines and procurement. An EDL would do the same for diagnostic tests, which are crucial for management of all forms of diseases (communicable and non-communicable), surveillance of emerging infections and management of public health.”

In the context of TB “… an EDL would allow advocates to hold country governments accountable for providing access to recommended TB diagnostic tools, … There have been several instances where countries continue to allow the marketing and use of inappropriate diagnostic tests for TB …, which are at best ineffective and costly, and at worst detrimental to the patient and ultimately the public health system.”

The signatories requested a response by 7 November 2016.

To read the full letter, click here.


On 18 November 2016, the World Health Organization responded saying that it is exploring several approaches regarding the establishment of a Model List of Essential Diagnostics. “Initially we will seek advice from the Expert Committee on Selection and Use of Medicines concerning companion diagnostic tests required for appropriate use of medicines currently on the Model List of Essential Medicines. Pending the Committee’s advice in late March 2017, we will then consider how to take these developments forward.”

To read the full response, click here.

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By TB advocates

Published: Nov. 21, 2016, 9:49 p.m.

Last updated: Feb. 9, 2017, 6:18 p.m.

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