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With addition of 34 new drugs, number of essential medicines goes to 384

384 drugs have been included in this list with addition of 34 drugs, while 26 from the previous list have been dropped. The medicines have been categorized into 27 therapeutic categories.

SNS | New Delhi |

The Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Dr Mansukh Mandaviya has launched National Lists of Essential Medicines (NLEM) 2022 on Tuesday.

During the launch, he said, “Health Ministry is taking various steps under vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi towards Sabko Dawai, Sasti Dawai.

In this direction, National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) plays an important role in ensuring accessibility of affordable quality medicines at all levels of healthcare which will give boost to cost-effective, quality medicines and contribute towards reduction in Out of Pocket Expenditure on healthcare for the citizens, Mandaviya said.

384 drugs have been included in this list with addition of 34 drugs, while 26 from the previous list have been dropped. The medicines have been categorized into 27 therapeutic categories.

The primary purpose of NLEM is to promote rational use of medicines considering the three important aspects i.e., cost, safety and efficacy.

It also helps in optimum utilization of healthcare resources and budget; drug procurement policies, health insurance; improving prescribing habits; medical education and training for UG/PG; and drafting pharmaceutical policies.

He elaborated that the concept is based on the premise that a limited list of carefully selected medicines will improve quality of health care, provide cost-effective health care and better management of medicines.

The National List of Essential Medicines was first formulated in 1996 and it was revised thrice earlier in 2003, 2011, and 2015.

“The independent Standing National Committee on Medicines (SNCM) was constituted by Union Health Ministry in 2018. The Committee after detailed consultation with experts and stakeholders has revised the NLEM, 2015 and submitted its report on NLEM, 2022 to the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. The Government of India has accepted the recommendations of the Committee and adopted the list”, he stated.

The drugs which are included in the list needs to be useful in diseases which is a public health problem in India, be licensed/approved Drugs Controller General (India) (DCGI) and have proven efficacy and safety profile based on scientific evidence.

The drug must be recommended under National Health Programs of India (e.g. Ivermectin part of Accelerated Plan for Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis 2018). When more than one medicine are available from the same therapeutic class, one prototype/medically best suited medicine of that class are included in the list. For the inclusion in the list, the price of total treatment is considered and not the unit price of a medicine.