Application to Add Midazolam to the Model List of Essential Medicines
Summary statement of the proposal for inclusion The benzodiazepine midazolam has proven sedative, anxiolytic and amnesic properties. It is extensively used for premedication and procedural sedation in both adults and children. In comparison to other benzodiazepine and non-benzodiazepine drugs, midazolam is equally or more effective for premedication/preoperative sedation. No evidence exists that premedication with midazolam prolongs discharge time from hospital. Its efficacy and safety have been extensively studied in both adults and children. This contrasts its comparator drug, diazepam for which data in children and elderly are scarce or lacking. Midazolam is also effective for procedural sedation as a single drug or in combination with an opioid. As a single drug, adequate sedation for procedures in the emergency room, is achieved in over 90% of all procedures. Comparative efficacy was shown for propofol. Data are insufficient to determine comparative efficacy for procedural sedation for other drugs. When administered with the appropriate precautions, e.g. titration to effect, adequate monitoring and personnel to support ventilation, midazolam is very safe. No major adverse events were seen in 847 adults who received midazolam for procedural sedation. Also, adverse effects can be antagonized with an effective antagonist, flumazenil. As midazolam is off-patent, drug costs are relatively low. Drug costs per procedure range from approximately 0.15 US$ to 2.6 US$ in an adult, depending on dose and country, with significantly lower costs in developing countries.