WHO launches first biosimilar medicine to treat Breast Cancer

  • The World Health Organization launched its first biosimilar medicine to treat breast cancer. The WHO intends to make the expensive, life-saving treatment affordable for women all over the world


  • WHO launched a biosimilar medicine “Trastuzumab”in order to treat breast cancer.
  • It is an antibody that shows high efficacy in curing early stages of breast cancers.
  • It was included in the WHO Essential Medicines List in 2015.

Essential Medicines of WHO

  • The Essential Medicines according to the WHO, are the medicines that satisfy priority health care needs.
  • It was launched in 1977 and updated once in two years. The list includes medicines for both adult and children. The current list was published in April 2019.


  • In women, breast cancers are the most common form of cancers. Around 2.1 million women are affected by breast cancers (2018 UN data).
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