Union Health Ministry releases the National List of Essential Medicines 2022.
Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare launched the National Lists of Essential Medicines (NLEM) 2022 on Tuesday, September 13.
“Several antibiotics, vaccines, anti-cancer drugs, and many other important drugs will become more affordable & reduce patients’ out-of-pocket expenditure,” tweeted Dr Mandaviya.
The NLEM list is an initiative taken under Prime Minister, Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Sabko Dawai, Sasti Dawai’ which includes 384 drugs across 27 categories and the addition of 34 new drugs, while 26 drugs dropped from the previous list of 2015.
“Union Health Ministry is taking various steps under vision of Hon. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji 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. This will give boost to cost-effective, quality medicines and contribute towards reduction in Out of Pocket Expenditure on healthcare for the citizens,” said Dr Mansukh Mandaviya during the release of the National List of Essential Medicines 2022.
So what are essential medicines?
Speaking at the occasion, Union Health Minister stated that the “essential medicines” are those that satisfy the priority health care needs, based on efficacy, safety, quality and total cost of the treatment. 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. In NLEM, the medicines are categorized based on level of healthcare system as- P- Primary; S- Secondary and T- Tertiary.
The Home Minister further states 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 NLEM is a dynamic document and is revised on a regular basis considering the changing public health priorities as well as advancement in pharmaceutical knowledge, he added.
The National List of Essential Medicines was first formulated in 1996 and it was revised thrice earlier in 2003, 2011, and 2015.
Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya further states, “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.”
Listed down below are the following criteria considered for inclusion in NLEM:
- be useful in diseases which is a public health problem in India
- be licensed/ approved Drugs Controller General (India) (DCGI)
- have proven efficacy and safety profile based on scientific evidence
- be comparatively cost effective
- be aligned with the current treatment guidelines
- 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 to be included.
- price of total treatment is considered and not the unit price of a medicine
- fixed dose combinations are usually not included
- vaccines as and when are included in Universal Immunization Program (e.g. Rotavirus vaccine).
Below is the link for the complete list of NLEM 2022:
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