34 additional medicines bring the total number of essential medicines to 384

NEW DELHI: The National Lists of Essential Medicines (NLEM) 2022, which was released here on Tuesday by Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, contains a total of 384 medicines. 34 new drugs have been added to the list, while 26 substances from the previous list have been removed. 27 therapeutic categories were used to group drugs.

The NLEM 2022 review has been completed following extensive collaboration with all parties involved, including academics, business people and public policy professionals, as well as key publications such as the WHO EML 2021.
“The Union Health Ministry is taking various steps towards Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji’s vision of ‘Sabko Dawai, Sasti Dawai’ and in this regard, the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) plays a crucial role in ensuring accessibility to affordable, quality medicines at all levels of healthcare. This will boost cost-effective, quality medicines and help reduce out-of-pocket healthcare expenditures for citizens,” a statement read.

Speaking at the event, the Minister of Health explained that “essential medicines” are those that meet the most pressing medical requirements in terms of efficacy, safety, quality and overall cost of care. The main objective of the NLEM is to encourage rational use of medicines while taking into account its three key components, namely cost, safety and effectiveness.

It also assists in the formulation of pharmaceutical policies, drug supply policies, health insurance, improving prescribing practices, undergraduate and graduate medical education and training and budgeting for health resources. In the NLEM, medicines are classified according to the level of the health system as follows: P- Primary; S- Secondary and T- Tertiary.

He said the idea is based on the idea that a small number of well-chosen drugs can improve the quality of health care, provide affordable health care and facilitate better drug delivery. The NLEM, he said, is a living document that is subject to regular revisions in light of changing public health goals and advances in pharmaceutical knowledge. The National List of Essential Medicines was first created in 1996 and has since undergone three revisions in 2003, 2011 and 2015.

In 2018, the Union Department of Health set up the independent Standing National Medicines Committee (SNCM), which reviewed the NLEM, 2015 and submitted its report on the NLEM, 2022 to the Department of Health and of the family. “The Indian government has accepted the recommendations of the Committee and adopted the list,” he said.
Pharmaceuticals on the list must be effective in treating conditions that constitute a public health problem in India, be licensed by the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) and have a safety and drug profile. proven effectiveness based on scientific research.

India’s national health programs require the drug to be recommended (for example, ivermectin is part of the 2018 accelerated lymphatic filariasis elimination plan). When there are multiple drugs in a therapeutic class, only the prototype or medically most suitable drug in that class is included in the list. Instead of the unit price of the drug, the cost of the entire treatment is taken into account for inclusion in the list.

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