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WHO Deems The Products Of These Diagnostic Companies 'Essential'

Elizabeth Balboa

The World Health Organization published this month a list of 113 “essential” in vitro diagnostics to guide member states in establishing standards for universal health coverage, inform donation selection for nongovernmental organizations, and direct the medtech sector’s development priorities.

“...IVDs are an essential component to advance universal health coverage, address health emergencies, and promote healthier populations,” the WHO wrote.

The list includes 58 lab tests for routine patient care as well as 55 detection and monitoring tools for key diseases, such as HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, hepatitis B and C, human papillomavirus and syphilis.

While the agency doesn't endorse any particular brands, its generic priorities lend a boost to particular manufacturers, including Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT), Quest Diagnostics Inc (NYSE: DGX), Danaher Corporation (NYSE: DHR) and Trinity Biotech plc (ADR) (NASDAQ: TRIB)

The WHO panel behind the list intends to eventually incorporate tests for viruses, bacteria, cancer and heart disease, as well as devices such as ultrasounds and CT scanners, according to the New York Times. The expansion could help propel sales for niche manufacturers like Hologic, Inc. (NASDAQ: HOLX) and Opko Health Inc. (NASDAQ: OPK).

The WHO clarified that the list isn't meant to be “prescriptive” but should be adopted according to country need and priorities.

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