34 new names in the list of essential medicines, 26 removed - know how this list is made

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The National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM 2022) has 384 medicines, out of 376 included in 2015. COVID-19 drugs and vaccines not made part of NLEM 2022

A new list of essential medicines has been issued by the central government. 34 new drugs have been included in this list, while 26 drugs have been removed from this list. There are now 384 medicines in the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM 2022), out of 376 included in 2015. COVID-19 drugs and vaccines have not been made part of NLEM 2022 as they are under emergency use.

Most of the drugs in NLEM 2022 are anti-infectives (antibiotics, antifungals, etc.), drugs to treat diabetes, HIV, TB, certain cancer drugs, contraceptives, hormonal drugs, certain blood clotting disorders, drugs related to disorders, common antibiotics like meropenem, Cefuroxime, popular anti-diabetic drugs such as insulin glargine and teneligliptin are part of NLEM 2022.

How is the new list of medicines made?

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said that the drafting of this list is a lengthy process and around 350 experts from across India have held more than 140 consultation meetings to draft the NLEM 2022. After this these medicines have been included in the list of essential medicines.

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that the list of essential medicines has been prepared based on safety, effectiveness, and cost. These lists are prepared to keep in mind the burden of disease in the country and the current treatment line. Along with this, the cost of these medicines is also decided on this basis.

How is the price determined

The NPPA fixes the prices of these drugs based on Wholesale Price Index inflation. For all other drugs, companies are allowed an increase of up to a maximum of 10 percent annually.

Significantly, in NLEM 2022, 384 drugs will cover around 1000 formulations. NLEM 2015 included about 800 formulations in 376 drugs. Scheduled drugs (NLEM drugs) contributed about 17-18 percent of the domestic pharma market of Rs 1.6-1.7 trillion in 2015.