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ESMO Working with WHO to Improve Selection and Use of Essential Cancer Medicines

02 May 2023

ESMO was invited to participate in the 24th Expert Committee on Selection and Use of Essential Medicines (who.int). During the session on 24 April 2023, ESMO’s Chief Medical Officer, George Pentheroudakis, provided an update on ESMO tools and resources, such as the ESMO-Magnitude of Clinical Benefit Scale (ESMO-MCBS), the ESMO Clinical Practice Guidelines, including the Pan-Asian Guidelines Adaptation (PAGA), that can be used to improve the evaluation of, and access to, cancer medicines globally.

Since 2019, the WHO Expert Committee on Selection and Use of Medicines acknowledges the role of the ESMO-MCBS as a screening tool to identify cancer treatments that have potential therapeutic value that warrants full evaluation for the Essential Medicines List (EML) listing. Potential new EML cancer medicines, in general, should have a score on the ESMO-MCBS of A or B in the curative setting and of 4 or 5 in the non-curative setting.

The WHO Model List of Essential Medicines is updated every 2 years, and, as appropriate, ESMO proposes new cancer medicines for the WHO Expert Committee to consider to add to the list, and provides WHO with the ESMO-MCBS scores for other cancer medicines for which applications for the EML list have been submitted to WHO by other stakeholders.

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