July 9, 2019 / 9:44 AM / 9 days ago

WHO updates its essential medicines list, adds cancer and stroke drugs

GENEVA, July 9 (Reuters) - The World Health Organization published an updated list of “essential medicines” on Tuesday, adding drugs for cancer, stroke, rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease among the treatments that should be seen as the standard.

The list included five new cancer therapies based on improved survival rates for lung, blood and prostate cancers, and recommended two new immunotherapies — nivolumab and pembrolizumab — that had improved survival rates by 50% for advanced melanoma, which was incurable until recently. (Reporting by Tom Miles; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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