WHO 2021 Essential Medicines List includes new diabetes medication

01 October 2021

Today, the World Heath Organization (WHO) published the new edition of the Essential Medicines List (EML). IDF welcomes the inclusion of several diabetes medicines in the 2021 EML – in line with the WHO Global Diabetes Compact workstream of improving access to medication.


pharmacists warehouse landscapeLong-acting insulin analogues (insulin degludec, detemir and glargine) and their biosimilars join human insulin in the new EML. Their inclusion means that biosimilar insulin analogues can be eligible for the WHO’s prequalification programme, which can result in more quality-assured biosimilars entering the international market and creating a competition that brings prices down and improves availability and access.

Sodium-Glucose Co-transporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors are also included in the WHO EML, as second-line therapy for adults with type 2 diabetes. IDF submitted SGLT2i for inclusion in the EML and is delighted that the request has been accepted. IDF will now work further in partnership with Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) to make this treatment affordable and available to those in need.

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