The World Health Organization has just released the Report of the 20th WHO Expert Committee on the Selection and Use of Essential Medicines. The Report recommends that misoprostol be included in the Model List of Essential Medicines (EML) for the additional indication of treating post-partum haemorrhage (in addition to preventing PPH) when oxytocin is not available or cannot be used safely. This means that health care providers who are not qualified to give oxytocin injections or where oxytocin is not availble, e.g. in community-based facilities can now provide misoprostol to treat as well as to prevent post-partum haemorrhage.
The Report states: “Two applications related to misoprostol were considered by the Expert Committee. The Committee recommended listing misoprostol for the additional indication of post-partum hemorrage, when oxytocin is not available or cannot be used safely, but it did not recommend deletion of misoprostol for the post-partum hemorrage prevention indication. The Committee noted that no new clinical trial data to support deletion has been presented compared to the same application in 2013.”
The Committee also recommended the addition of three new contraceptive products to the EML: the etonogestrel-releasing implant, the levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system and the progesterone contraceptive vaginal ring.
Report of the 20th WHO Expert Committee on the Selection and Use of Essential Medicines, May 2015:
All applications and documents reviewed by the Expert Committee: http://www.who.int/selection_medicines/committees/expert/20/en/