As many as 384 new medicines have been included in the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) released by the Government today in which 34 new drugs have been listed, while 26 from the previous list have been dropped.
The NLEM plays an important role in ensuring accessibility of affordable quality medicines at all levels of healthcare.
Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said keeping in mind “Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of Sabko Dawai, Sasti Dawai, NLEM plays an important role in ensuring accessibility of affordable quality medicines at all levels of healthcare. This will give a boost to cost-effective, quality medicines and contribute towards reduction in out of pocket expenditure on healthcare for the citizens.”
The medicines have been categorized into 27 therapeutic categories. In NLEM, the medicines are categorized based on the level of healthcare as- P- Primary; S- Secondary and T- Tertiary.
The 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.
He elaborated 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.
He added that 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. The National List of Essential Medicines was first formulated in 1996 and it was revised thrice earlier in 2003, 2011, and 2015.
Revision of NLEM 2022 has been done after constant consultation with stakeholders spanning across academia, industrialists and public policy experts etc., and crucial documents like WHO EML 2021.
NLEM 2022 can be accessed here: