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26 medicines harmful to health dropped from Govt’s new list

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Union health ministry has dropped 26 medicines in the new revised National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) including ranitidine as scientists have found that it contains elements that may cause cancer.

Ranitidine is used for stomach-related ailments and sold under brand names such as Rantac, Zinetac and Aciloc.

The United States’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had recalled all ranitidine products — injectable and oral –  earlier this year as the presence of low-level N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) was found in them.

A study published by the Indian Journal of Pharmacology found out N-Nitrosamines are associated with stomach, esophagus, nasopharynx, and bladder cancers.

Among the 34 new medicines that have been included in the list are anti-infectives like ivermectin, mupirocin and nicotine replacement therapy related drugs.

Endocrine medicines and contraceptives fludrocortisone, ormeloxifene, insulin glargine and teneliglitin had also been added to the NLEM list.

The total list of NLEM drugs which are to be supplied at affordable costs and are used in national health programmes has now gone up to 384.

NLEM 2022 can be accessed here:

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