13 June 2017

WHO Update of the Essential Medicines List Should Benefit Doctors and Patients

Responding to the World Health Organisation's update of the Essential Medicines List, Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said:

“Growing resistance to antibiotics is a serious threat to our patients’ health worldwide, so we welcome the World Health Organisation taking action to help curb this.

“GPs and other prescribers must have access to guidance and tools that help us prescribe safely for all conditions, in the best interests of individual patients and public health globally – and this updated Essential Medicines List should be useful in our daily practice.

“It’s important that the list is constantly evaluated and updated as new research is published, in a way that best preserves the efficacy of the drugs we have available to us for as long as possible, in the long-term interests of the health of our global population.

“What is also necessary is for more investment and research into developing new drugs, particularly antibiotics, so that we have more options available to tackle emerging diseases, so that we can keep our patients safe for years to come.

“Other resources are also available, and the College has worked with Public Health England to develop the TARGET antibiotics toolkit to support GPs and other prescribing healthcare professionals to prescribe antibiotics appropriately.”

Further Information

RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7574/7575/7633
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659


The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 50,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.