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Psychopharmacological Treatment Options for Global Child and Adolescent Mental Health: The WHO Essential Medicines Lists

NCJ Number
Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Volume: 47 Issue: 10 Dated: October 2008 Pages: 1105-1113
Stan Kutcher M.D., F.R.C.P.; Andrea Murphy B.Sc.Pharm., Pharm.D.; David Gardner Pharm.D., M.Sc.
Date Published
October 2008
This article provides a constructively critical examination of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Model List of Essential Medicines (EML) and offers suggestions for its modification to more appropriately reflect the rational therapeutic use of child and adolescent psychotropic medications.
Globally, psychopharmacological treatments and national formulary decisions are influenced by the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Model List of Essential Medicines (EML), which was recently updated to identify those medications deemed necessary for clinical care of children. Unfortunately, the EML contains few of the psychotropic medications known to be useful in the care of young people with mental disorders, thus potentially limiting the application of effective treatments for children and adolescents worldwide. Reviews of safety and effectiveness data for these medications should be undertaken in an expedited fashion as the mental health needs of children and adolescents on a global level continue to be underserved by such delays. A scientifically valid, globally considered EML for children and a similar one for youths can be expected to facilitate mental health care treatment options worldwide. Table and references