The World Health Organization's Essential Diagnostics List: Diagnostics for neurologic disorders


On the recommendation of the WHO Expert Committee on the Selection and Use of Essential Medicines in 2017, the inaugural WHO Essential Diagnostics List (EDL) was published by the WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on In-Vitro Diagnostics in May 2018. The EDL seeks to improve global treatment by providing “a catalogue of tests needed to diagnose both the most common conditions worldwide and diseases of global importance in both primary care and advanced settings.”1,2 This first iteration of the EDL includes diagnostic tests enabling the use of medications on the WHO Essential Medicines List (EML), which has guided international policies and funding decisions for the last 4 decades.3 Yet there is little representation of neurologic treatments on the EML, including a lack of medications for dementia, multiple sclerosis, neuropathic pain, and movement disorders, as well as commonly used medications for migraine such as triptans (table).4