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The WHO essential medicines list AWaRe book: from a list to a quality improvement system

Sharland M, Zanichelli V, Ombajo LA, Bazira J, Cappello B, Chitatanga R,  Chuki P, Gandra S, Getahun H, Harbarth S, Loeb M, Mendelson M, Moja L,  Pulcini C, Sati H, Tacconelli E, Zeng M, Huttner B

Abstract: Antibiotics are often prescribed inappropriately, either when they are  not necessary or with an unnecessarily broad spectrum of activity. AWaRe  (AccessWatchReserve) is a system developed by WHO to classify  antibiotics based on their spectrum of activity and potential for  favouring the development of antibiotic resistance (Access: narrow  spectrum/low potential for resistance; Watch: broader spectrum/higher  potential for resistance; Reserve: last resort antibiotics to use very  selectively). The WHO target is that by 2023, at least 60% of prescribed  antibiotics globally should be from the Access category. The WHO AWaRe  Book aims to improve empiric antibiotic prescribing by providing simple  guidance for common infections based on the principles of AWaRe in  alignment with the Model Lists of Essential Medicines for adults and  children.

Keywords: Antibiotic use; Guidance; Health policy; Infectious disease; Public health.

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