OneWorld Health's First Approved Drug Added To WHO Essential Medicines List

Armen Hareyan's picture

The Institute for OneWorld Health has first approved drug product, Paromomycin IM Injection, was designated by the World Health Organization for inclusion on its Model List for Essential Medicines.

Paromomycin IM Injection is a cost-effective treatment for visceral leishmaniasis (VL), the world's second most deadly parasitic disease after malaria. With approximately 500,000 new cases occurring annually worldwide, visceral leishmaniasis, also known as kala-azar, primarily afflicts the rural poor in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sudan and Brazil.


"The inclusion of OneWorld Health's first approved drug product on the WHO Essential Medicines List recognizes the value of Paromomycin IM Injection to combat this lethal disease. This recognition is an important step in the realization of our drug development mission: Bringing the promise of safe, effective, and affordable medicines to those most in need," said Dr. Ahvie Herskowitz, OneWorld Health's Co-founder and Chief Medical Officer.

The WHO List of Essential Medicines provides a model for countries to select medicines addressing public health priorities. Medicines are selected by the WHO's Expert Committee on the Selection and Use of Essential Medicines based on its quality, safety and efficacy standards. The WHO List of Essential Medicines helps governments address problems of cost and availability and provides guidance to the pharmaceutical industry on medicine needs globally.

The decision was made at the 15th Expert Committee on the Selection and Use of Essential Medicines, which met in Geneva earlier this year. In its letter notifying OneWorld Health of its decision, the WHO noted that, "Paromomycin appears to be the most cost-effective treatment among all available alternatives."

Gland Pharma Limited, the Hyderabad, India-based drug manufacturer working with OneWorld Health and its collaborators, received regulatory approval from the Drug-Controller General - India (DCGI) for Paromomycin IM Injection as a treatment for VL on August 31, 2006. Gland has committed to act as the low cost global manufacturer to ensure access of Paromomycin to all those that need it.