The advisory panel considered the following items as being necessary in selecting medicines for inclusion into the essential drugs list:
a) Essential drugs are those that satisfy the needs of the majority of the population.
b) There should be adequate data supporting their efficacy and safety.
c) The drugs were assessed if they were used routinely and on their performance in routine practice.
d) The panelists critically assessed whether a drug should be in the essential list. There were some items that did not satisfy the criteria for inclusion into the Essential Drugs List although they may be needed in special circumstances. Some of these items were recommended to be included in the Secondary Category (formally known as non-scheduled). The secondary category of drugs are those items that may become necessary in special circumstances but do not satisfy the criteria for inclusion into the Kenya Essential Drugs List.
e) It was the opinion of the team that all essential drugs should be non-patented. The main reason for this is because patented brand products are often enormously expensive and yet have no other advantage over the generic drugs.
The Kenya Essential Drugs List, which resulted from these criteria, appears in the following pages. The list is presented by therapeutic category. They are designated in various levels of care i.e. referral hospitals, provincial general hospitals, district hospitals, health centres, dispensaries and Community Health Workers.