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Cancer, HIV drugs among 106 added to Essential Medicines list

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New Delhi: The government has added 106 drugs including that for Cancer, HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C to the list of essential medicines, taking the total number of items to 376.

In a revision of the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM), 2011 by the core committee constituted by the Health Ministry, 106 medicines were added while 70 were deleted after a series of meetings and consultations across the country.

“There were 348 medicines listed in NLEM, 2011. A total of 106 medicines have been added and 70 medicines have been deleted to prepare NLEM, 2015 which now contains a total of 376 medicines,” a notice by the Ministry said today.

“The NLEM, 2015 has been prepared adhering to the basic principles of efficacy, safety, cost-effectiveness, consideration of diseases as public health problems in India,” it said.

Essential medicines are those that satisfy the priority health care needs of the population and are listed with reference to the levels of healthcare, namely primary, secondary and tertiary. They are based on the country’s disease burden, priority health concerns, affordability concerns etc.

The committee recommended that the list, which comes into effect immediately, be revised every three years.