Injection Materials and Injectable Drugs

(HTP/BCT, 5 March 2002)

Proposal from Director, Blood Safety and Clinical Technology (BCT)

The proposal is to add two inserts to the Technical Report Series publication, The Use of Essential Drugs, on injection equipment supplies and to provide the internet web address to the Safe Injection Global Network.

The proposed additions are

For injectable medications

To prevent poor injection practices, the WHO Expert Committee on the Use of Essential Drugs and the WHO Safety Injection Global Network urge for supplies of injection equipment and sharps boxes that match all deliveries and orders of injectable medication mentioned in WHO Model List. Unsafe injection practices and re-use of syringes and needles without sterilization cause many infections transmitted by bloodborne pathogens and waste precious health care resources. Ensuring continuous availability of injection equipment and infection control supplies is an essential part of the strategy for the safe and appropriate use of injections.

For vaccines Section

In the goal of improving injection safety in immunization services, the WHO Expert Committee on Essential Drug, the SIGN network, UNICEF and UNFPA reaffirm the current policy that auto-disable syringes, vaccines and safety boxes should be supplied as a "bundle" for all elective and emergency campaigns. WHO, UNICEF and UNFPA urge that all countries should only use auto-disable syringes for immunization by the end of 2003. The reuse of standard single-use disposable syringes and needles places the general population at high risk of disease by transmission of bloodborne pathogens.

Background: rationale and evidence base for the application

1. Memorandum from Director BCT

2. Policy Analysis: Improving Access to Injection Equipment to Improve Injection Safety

3. Review of Injectable Drugs Included on the WHO Model List of Essential Drugs

4. List of drugs on the EDL for which injectable formulations are specified

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See also the Essential Medicines Library