National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM)

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National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM)

Recently revised National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) has been notified.

The amendments made to the NLEM in the year 2022 are based on consultation with the stakeholders. For this, reference has also been made to important documents like the World Health Organization (WHO) List of Essential Medicines 2021.

34 additional medicines have been added to this list. These are related to cancer treatment and palliative care, treatment of nervous system disorders, diabetes etc. 26 drugs have been removed from the revised list.

Medicines are added or removed on the basis of their cost, efficacy and quick availability.

The prices of these medicines are regulated by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA).

National List of Essential Medicines

  • The National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) is a list issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
  • Medicines listed in the NLEM are sold below the price ceiling fixed by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA). In India, it was modeled on the lines of the Essential Medicines List (EML) issued by the WHO.

Background: The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare prepared and released India’s first National List of Essential Medicines in the year 1996 which included 279 medicines. This list was later revised in the years 2003, 2011, 2015 and 2022.

National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority

  • It was established in the year It was set up to fix/revise the prices of controlled bulk drugs and formulations.
  • Its objective is to ensure the price and availability of drugs under the Drugs (Prices Control) Order,
  • It is an attached office of the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Union Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers.

Source – The Hindu

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