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WHO endorsement of simpler BP drug welcomed as life savers

Dr. Tom Frieden
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Dr. Tom Frieden, President and CEO of RTSL

BS RAWAT
NEW DELHI:
The George Institute for Global Health has welcomed the addition of fixed-dose combinations (FDCs) of blood pressure lowering medicines to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Essential Medicines List (EML) in response to an application filed by Resolve To Save Lives (RTSL).

“High blood pressure kills more patients than all infectious diseases combined, but there are safe, effective, generic, low-cost medications that can prevent many of these deaths,” said Dr. Tom Frieden, President, and CEO of RTSL.

“Ensuring a supply of safe, effective medications for hypertension  and promoting patient-centered care through convenient medication regimens are both keys to improving the disorder control rates around the world,” added Dr. Frieden.

“Having FDCs for high BP on the WHO EML is a breakthrough for both of these proven strategies, and for getting these medicines to the patients who need them,” he said.

Adding FDCs of BP-lowering medicines to the EML is a critical step to improve the availability and affordability of these medicines, making it easier for the more than one billion patients with hypertension globally to regularly take the drugs they need to prevent early disability and death.

FDCs, which combine two or more BP-lowering drugs that are commonly taken together into a single pill, has been proven to improve patients’ adherence to medication regimens and BP control rates.

FDCs have significant advantages for people and healthcare systems, including simpler dose schedules, decreased pill burden, reduced stock outs, easier task sharing, supervision and training.


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