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In a welcome development, 40 years after publishing the first Essential Medicines List (EML), WHO is poised to begin the development of an Essential Diagnostics List (EDL). An EDL should help amplify the impact of the EML. After all, patients need access to both diagnosis and treatment.
Never bring a knife to a gunfight. And yet, the global tuberculosis (TB) community has been doing precisely that for decades -- fighting a protracted battle with antiquated, inefficient tools, including an insensitive diagnostic (i.e. sputum microscopy), a low-efficacy vaccine (i.e. BCG), and drug regimens that have hardly changed for decades.
By Madhukar Pai & Rebecca Weintraub Despite the critical importance of diagnosis, diagnostic testing and laboratory capacity