Government revises NLEM: cuts prices for 39 commonly used drugs

By revising the “National Essential Medicines List” (NLEM), the central government reduced the prices of 39 commonly used drugs.

Prices have been reduced for anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-retroviral, anti-tuberculosis drugs, and also for some that are used in Covid treatment.

Experts working on the NLEM list have removed 16 strange drugs from the list.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has long worked to expand drug price controls.

Commonly used drugs, which have been cut below the price cap, include teneligliptin – an anti-diabetic drug, popular anti-tuberculosis drugs, ivermectin – used in the treatment of Covid, the rotavirus vaccine, among others.

The government had started an exercise to revise the NLEM, which was notified in 2015 and implemented in 2016.

This is a departure from the current practice, where all essential drugs are automatically subject to price controls.

The National Standing Medicines Committee has been tasked with preparing the list of medicines which should be available in sufficient numbers and in guaranteed quantities.

The committee headed by Balram Bhargava, secretary of the health research department and director general of ICMR, sends the list to a second committee made up of senior officials from NITI Aayog, secretary of health and secretary of the pharmaceuticals department, who decides which drugs to put under the price cap.


apr / shs / ​​in

(Only the title and image of this report may have been reworked by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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