The WHO Essential Medicines List Antibiotic Book

The below webinars highlighted the use of the WHO Essential Medicines List Antibiotic Book with the aims of outlining its purpose, how it was developed, and how it can be used, as well as what the WHO expects from the public consultation phase. The resources listed below are available on the WHO website, but we've included them here for your convenience and ease of access.

Read the book:

Questions and Answers

The WHO Essential Medicines List Antibiotic Book Q&A

There have been two webinars hosted by WHO to promote the implementation of national antimicrobial resistance action plans. They are posted here for convenience of access since they are available on the WHO website:


November 18, 2021

March 1, 2022     

Development of the EML antibiotic bookDr Benedikt Huttner, Team Lead, EML Secretariat

Session 1 and 2: Using the EML book in the hospital setting: Dr Loice Achieng Ombajo, Kenya

Using the EML Antibiotic Book in the hospital settingDr Loice Achieng Ombajo, University of Nairobi, Kenya

Session 1: Using the EML book in the primary care setting: Dr Mark Mendelson, South Africa

Using the EML Antibiotic Book in the primary care settingDr Pem Chuki, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital, Thimphu, Bhutan

Session 2: Using the EML book in the primary care setting: Dr Sumatnath Gandra, India/ USA

Watch the meeting recordingPanel discussion, question & answer session



The eEML is a comprehensive, freely accessible, online database containing information on essential medicines. The eEML combines detailed medicine information (e.g. pharmaceutical) data with comprehensive evaluation of benefits, harms and costs (e.g. effectiveness, safety, implications for health care systems) information. Most importantly the eEML provides the data related to the status of a medicine as an essential medicine. 

The AWaRe Portal is a free online resource intended to increase public awareness of issues regarding antibacterial resistance. Taking account of the global recognition of the need for effective antimicrobial stewardship, as well as the need to ensure immediate access to necessary antibiotics and appropriate prescribing, WHO developed a framework based on three different categories – Access, Watch and Reserve – which all together forms the AWaRe categorization of antibiotics. 

We created a database of the essential medicines lists for 137 countries by searching the World Health Organization’s National Essential Medicines Lists Repository in June of 2017 and manually abstracting information about which medicines were included in each list. More than 2000 unique medicines are listed. This information about 137 national essential medicines lists is intended to facilitate sharing and decision-making capacity globally and also identify opportunities for improving essential medicines lists.