Nearly all national essential medicines lists include withdrawn medicines

New research led by St. Michael’s Hospital of Unity Health Toronto analyzed the essential medicines lists of 137 countries and found all but one list included one or more medicines that have either been withdrawn by a regulator or not approved for marketing due to adverse effects in other countries. Somalia listed 83 medicines, and did not include a withdrawn medicine on its essential medicines list.

The study, published in PLOS ONE, identified 97 medicines that were withdrawn from markets between 1953 and 2014 but still included on a national essential medicines list. Eleven of these medicines were withdrawn worldwide because of their associations with harm, but were still included on up to 39 lists.

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