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makes concerning the list of essential drugs are of special importance for health-care policies and programmes worldwide.  Review, and updating, of the list  should be carried out in consultation with organizations specializing in the field of mental health, and should take into account new developments in the field.  The list of essential drugs for the treatment of mental disorders has remained almost unchanged over the two decades since its first publication, despite the considerable advances of psychopharmacotherapy in the same period.  A regular review of this list of drugs with professional and non-professional non-governmental organizations is therefore a matter of priority.  The World Health Organization can also play an important role in the training of health professionals about mental health matters and new treatments, in collaboration with non-governmental organizations.

(8)Action by international organizations (whether  inter-governmental or non-governmental), however, cannot replace the initiative and engagement of national governments and national professional organizations and agencies. If the opportunities offered by the advent of the SGAMs  are to be utilized, it is essential that, at the national level, all concerned - patient and family organizations, governments, the industry, health professionals, the media and the general public – together examine this and other key statements affecting care,  and join hands in building programmes that will ensure that people with mental illness receive the best possible care and retain, or find, their place in the community in which they live.

The review of evidence presented here, as well as any consensus statements developed on the basis of it, should be reviewed at national level in the light of socio-economic and cultural specificities, health-care policies and their implementation, and other locally relevant facts. This review will undoubtedly lead to the development of country-specific additions and recommendations for the development of teaching materials relevant to the use of these medications, research that should be undertaken on matters relevant to the situation in each country, and legal and administrative measures that will be necessary to optimize the treatment of mental illness. The results of such reviews at national level should be made available to other countries in which the Statement is to be reviewed, so that they can learn from the experience that has been obtained elsewhere.


The WPA gratefully acknowledges the generous contributions by AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly and Company, Janssen Pharmaceutica, Knoll AG, H. Lundbeck A/S, Pfizer, Sanofi-Synthelabo and Servier, which greatly facilitated the development of this Technical Review.

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