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WHO releases updated list of 'critical medicines' for nuclear emergencies

New info for "vital preparedness and readiness tool."

Published: January 27, 2023 2:08pm

Updated: January 27, 2023 2:21pm

The World Health Organization this week released an updated list of what it said are critical medicines necessary to have stockpiled in the case of a nuclear attack. 

The WHO on Friday announced its updated "critical medicines list for radiological and nuclear emergencies," which it said supersedes a prior list from 2007. 

“In radiation emergencies, people may be exposed to radiation at doses ranging from negligible to life-threatening. Governments need to make treatments available for those in need – fast,” said Maria Neira with the WHO's Healthier Population division 

“It is essential that governments are prepared to protect the health of populations and respond immediately to emergencies," Neira said. "This includes having ready supplies of lifesaving medicines that will reduce risks and treat injuries from radiation.” 

Among the materials the WHO said were necessary in the stockpile include stable iodine, used to "prevent or reduce the exposure of the thyroid to radioactive iodine," as well as "cytokines used for mitigation of damage to the bone marrow."

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