All 348 drugs of National List of Essential Medicines to come under price control?

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After the Supreme Court directive last week on regulating prices of essential medicines, the group of ministers led by agriculture minister Sharad Pawar will meet on September 20 to take a final view on bringing 348 essential medicines under price control. At present, the government regulates prices of 74 drugs under the Drug Price Control Order, 1995. The GoM’s long-pending meeting will take a final view on the National Pharmaceutical Policy, which was drafted last year. The draft policy proposed that the ceiling price should be based on average prices of the three top-selling brands in each molecule. The Supreme Court has reportedly asked the government to come up with a decision on drug pricing within two weeks, failing which it will pass an interim order. [Reports Times of India]

The National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM), 2003 has been revised. The revised list, the NLEM, 2011 contains 348 drugs. While approving the list, the Minister of Health & Family Welfare has also approved that if affordable healthcare has to become a reality, all the medicines included in the NLEM, 2011 should be brought within the ambit of price control under the DPCO, considering the fact that the cost of medicines in the overall cost of healthcare constitutes more than 60% and a large
percentage of our people do not have access to affordable healthcare.

As per  National Institute of Public Finance and Policy 27 per cent of the sick never consult a doctor because they do not have required financial resources.

AS per Planning Commission’s working group on drugs and food for the 12th  Five-Year Plan country’s government public health sector caters to only 22 per cent of the population.

65 per cent citizens do not have access to essential medicines.

Over two thirds of the expenditure for healthcare is borne from out of pocket and accounts for an average increase in poverty by 3.6 per cent and 2.9 per cent for rural and urban India respectively.
Medical treatment is the second most common cause of rural indebtedness.

39 million people are pushed into poverty every year because of illness.

According to WHO, essential medicines are “those medicines that satisfy the healthcare needs of the majority of the population; they should, therefore, be available at all times in adequate amounts and in appropriate dosage forms, at a price the community can afford.”

WHO has been publishing periodically, since 1978, a model list of essential medicines. Each country is encouraged to prepare its own list by taking into consideration local priorities. At present over 150 countries have published their official essential medicines list. The first NLEM by the Government of India was released in1996. The list was subsequently revised in 2003 and 2011. [Reports Deccan Herald]

S. No Alphabetical List of Medicines in NLEM 2011
1 25% Dextrose
2 5-Amino salicylic Acid
3 5-Fluorouracil
4 Acetazolamide
5 Acetyl Salicylic Acid
6 Acriflavin+Glycerin
7 Actinomycin D
8 Activated Charcoal
9 Acyclovir
10 Adenosine
11 Adrenaline Bitartrate
12 Albendazole
13 Albumin
14 Allopurinol
15 Alpha Interferon
16 Alprazolam
17 Aluminium Hydroxide + Magnesium Hydroxide
18 Amikacin
19 Amiodarone
20 Amitriptyline
21 Amlodipine
22 Amoxicillin
23 Amoxicillin+Clavulinic acid
24 Amphotericin BPage 95 of 123
25 Ampicillin
26 Anti-D immunoglobin (human)
27 Antitetanus Human immunoglobin
28 Artesunate (To be used only in combination with Sulfadoxine + Pyrimethamine)
29 Ascorbic Acid
30 Atenolol
31 Atorvastatin
32 Atracurium besylate
33 Atropine Sulphate
34 Azathioprine
35 Azithromycin
36 B.C.G Vaccine
37 Barium Sulphate
38 Beclomethasone Dipropionate
39 Benzathine Benzylpenicillin
40 Benzoin Compound
41 Benzyl benzoate
42 Betamethasone
43 Betamethasone Dipropionate
44 Betaxolol Hydrochloride
45 Bisacodyl
46 Bleaching Powder
47 Bleomycin
48 Bromocriptine Mesylate
49 Bupivacaine HydrochloridePage 96 of 123
50 Busulphan
51 Calamine
52 Calcium carbonate
53 Calcium gluconate
54 Calcium Ipodate
55 Carbamazepine
56 Carbimazole
57 Carboplatin
58 Cefixime
59 Cefotaxime
60 Ceftazidime
61 Ceftriaxone
62 Cephalexin
63 Cetrimide
64 Cetrizine
65 Chlorambucil
66 Chloramphenicol
67 Chlorhexidine
68 Chloroquine phosphate
69 Chlorpheniramine Maleate
70 Chlorpromazine hydrochloride
71 Ciprofloxacin Hydrochloride
72 Cisplatin
73 Clindamycin
74 Clofazimine
75 Clomiphene citratePage 97 of 123
76 Clopidogrel
77 Clotrimazole
78 Cloxacillin
79 Coal Tar
80 Codeine phosphate
81 Colchicine
82 Condoms
83 Co-Trimoxazole (Trimethoprim + Sulphamethoxazole)
84 Cryoprecipitate
85 Cyanocobalamin
86 Cyclophosphamide
87 Cyclosporine
88 Cytosine arabinoside
89 D.P.T Vaccine
90 Dacarbazine
91 Danazol
92 Dapsone
93 Daunorubicin
94 Desferrioxamine mesylate
95 Dexamethasone
96 Dexchlorpheniramine Maleate
97 Dextran-40
98 Dextran-70
99 Dextromethorphan
100 Diazepam
101 DiclofenacPage 98 of 123
102 Dicyclomine Hydrochloride
103 Didanosine
104 Diethylcarbamazine citrate
105 Digoxin
106 Dihydroergotamine
107 Diloxanide Furoate
108 Diltiazem
109 Dimercaprol
110 Diphtheria Antitoxin
111 Dithranol
112 Dobutamine
113 Domperidone
114 Dopamine Hydrochloride
115 Doxorubicin
116 Doxycycline
117 Efavirenz
118 EMLA cream
119 Enalapril Maleate
120 Enoxaparin
121 Erythromycin Estolate
122 Esmolol
123 Ethambutol
124 Ether
125 Ethinylestradiol
126 Ethinylestradiol + Levonorgesterol
127 Ethinylestradiol + NorethisteronePage 99 of 123
128 Ethyl Alcohol 70%
129 Etoposide
130 Factor IX Complex (Coagulation Factors II,VII, IX, X)
131 Factor VIII Concentrate
132 Famotidine
133 Fentanyl
134 Ferrous Salt
135 Filgrastim
136 Fluconazole
137 Flumazenil
138 Fluorescein
139 Fluoxetine hydrochloride
140 Flutamide
141 Folic Acid
142 Folinic Acid
143 Formaldehyde IP
144 Framycetin Sulphate
145 Fresh frozen plasma
146 Furosemide
147 Gemcitabine hydrochloride
148 Gentamicin
149 Gentian Violet
150 Glibenclamide
151 Glucagon
152 Glucose
153 Glucose with sodium chloridePage 100 of 123
154 Glutaraldehyde
155 Glycerin
156 Glyceryl Trinitrate
157 Griseofulvin
158 Haloperidol
159 Halothane with vaporizer
160 Heparin Sodium
161 Hepatitis B Vaccine
162 Homatropine
163 Hormone  Releasing IUD
164 Hydrochlorothiazide
165 Hydrocortisone sodium succinate
166 Hydrogen Peroxide
167 Hydroxychloroquine phosphate
168 Hydroxyethyl Starch (Hetastarch)
169 Hyoscine Butyl Bromide
170 Ibuprofen
171 Ifosfamide
172 Imatinib
173 Imipramine
174 Indinavir
175 Insulin Injection(Soluble)
176 Intermediate Acting(Lente/NPH Insulin)
177 Intraperitoneal Dialysis Solution
178 Iodine
179 Iopanoic AcidPage 101 of 123
180 Ipratropium bromide
181 Iron Dextran
182 Isoflurane
183 Isoniazid
184 Isosorbide 5 Mononitrate/Dinitrate
185 Ispaghula
186 IUD containing Copper
187 Ketamine Hydrochloride
188 L- Asparaginase
189 Lamivudine
190 Lamivudine + Nevirapine + Stavudine
191 Lamivudine + Zidovudine
192 Leflunomide
193 Levodopa+ Carbidopa
194 Levothyroxine
195 Lignocaine
196 Lignocaine Hydrochloride
197 Lignocaine Hydrochloride + Adrenaline
198 Lithium Carbonate
199 Lorazepam
200 Losartan Potassium
201 Magnesium sulphate
202 Mannitol
203 Measles Vaccine
204 Medroxy Progesterone Acetate
205 MefloquinePage 102 of 123
206 Meglumine Iothalamate
207 Meglumine Iotroxate
208 Melphalan
209 Mercaptopurine
210 Mesna
211 Metformin
212 Methotrexate
213 Methyl Cellulose
214 Methyl Ergometrine
215 Methyldopa
216 MethylPrednisolone
217 Methylrosanilinium Chloride (Gentian Violet)
218 Methylthioninium chloride (Methylene blue)
219 Metoclopramide
220 Metoprolol
221 Metronidazole
222 Miconazole
223 Midazolam
224 Mifepristone
225 Misoprostol
226 Mitomycin-C
227 Morphine Sulphate
228 Multivitamins (As per Schedule V of Drugs and
Cosmetics Rules)
229 N/2 Saline
230 N/5 SalinePage 103 of 123
231 N-acetylcysteine
232 Naloxone
233 Nelfinavir
234 Neomycin + Bacitracin
235 Neostigmine
236 Nevirapine
237 Nicotinamide
238 Nifedipine
239 Nitrofurantoin
240 Nitrous Oxide
241 Norethisterone
242 Normal Saline
243 Nystatin
244 Ofloxacin
245 Olanzapine
246 Omeprazole
247 Ondansetron
248 Oral Poliomyelitis vaccine (LA)
249 Oral Rehydration Salts
250 Oxaliplatin
251 Oxygen
252 Oxytocin
253 Paclitaxel
254 Pantoprazole
255 Paracetamol
256 PenicillaminePage 104 of 123
257 Pentamidine Isothionate
258 Permethrin
259 Pheniramine Maleate
260 Phenobarbitone
261 Phenylephrine
262 Phenytoin Sodium
263 Phytomenadione
264 Pilocarpine
265 Piperazine
266 Platelet Rich Plasma
267 Polygeline
268 Polyvalent Antisnake Venom
269 Potassium Chloride
270 Potassium Permanganate
271 Povidone Iodine
272 Pralidoxime Chloride(2-PAM)
273 Praziquantel
274 Prednisolone
275 Prednisolone Acetate
276 Prednisolone Sodium Phosphate
277 Premix Insulin 30:70 injection
278 Primaquine
279 Procainamide Hydrochloride
280 Procarbazine
281 Promethazine
282 PropofolPage 105 of 123
283 Propranolol hydrochloride
284 Propyliodone
285 Protamine Sulphate
286 Pyrazinamide
287 Pyridostigmine
288 Pyridoxine
289 Pyrimethamine
290 Quinine sulphate
291 Rabies immunoglobin
292 Rabies Vaccine
293 Raloxifene
294 Ranitidine
295 Riboflavin
296 Rifampicin
297 Ringer Lactate
298 Ritonavir
299 Salbutamol sulphate
300 Salicylic Acid
301 Saquinavir
302 Sevoflurane
303 Silver Sulphadiazine
304 Sodium Bicarbonate
305 Sodium Iothalamate
306 Sodium Meglumine Diatrizoate
307 Sodium Nitrite
308 Sodium NitroprussidePage 106 of 123
309 Sodium Stibogluconate
310 Sodium Thiosulphate
311 Sodium Valproate
312 Specific antisnake venom
313 Spironolactone
314 Stavudine
315 Stavudine+Lamivudine
316 Streptokinase
317 Streptomycin Sulphate
318 Succinyl choline chloride
319 Sulfadoxine + Pyrimethamine
320 Sulfasalazine
321 Sulphacetamide Sodium
322 Sulphadiazine
323 Tamoxifen Citrate
324 Terbutaline Sulphate
325 Testosterone
326 Tetanus Toxoid
327 Tetracaine Hydrochloride
328 Thiamine
329 Thiopentone Sodium
330 Timolol Maleate
331 Tramadol
332 Trihexyphenidyl Hydrochloride
333 Tropicamide
334 Tuberculin, Purified Protein derivative Page 107 of 123
335 Urokinase
336 Vancomycin Hydrochloride
337 Vecuronium
338 Verapamil
339 Vinblastine sulphate
340 Vincristine
341 Vitamin A
342 Vitamin D (Ergocalciferol)
343 Warfarin sodium
344 Water for Injection
345 Zidovudine
346 Zidovudine+ Lamivudine+ Nevirapine
347 Zinc Oxide
348 Zinc Sulfate

(Source: http://pharmaceuticals.gov.in/NLEM.pdf)