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Essential medicines for palliative care 

Essential medicines for palliative care
Essential medicines for palliative care

Liliana De Lima

, Lukas Radbruch

, and Eduardo Bruera

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date: 16 May 2022

The essential medicines concept developed by the World Health Organization (WHO), states that there is a list of minimum medicines for a basic health-care system, including the most efficacious, safe, and cost-effective ones for priority conditions. According to the WHO, essential medicines are those that satisfy the primary health-care needs of the population. Thus, they should always be available, affordable, and cost-effective. However, the vast majority of the global population does not have access to essential medicines. Many organizations have called on governments to adopt policies to improve availability of these essential medicines and developed programmes and projects to increase awareness and knowledge. This chapter describes two such projects developed by the International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care (IAHPC), based on the essential medicines concept to improve access to medicines and appropriate palliative care: the IAHPC List of Essential Medicines in Palliative Care and the Opioid Essential Prescription Package.

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