Essential medicines

Essential medicines
  • Essential medicines are those that satisfy the priority health care needs of the country’s population.
  • They are listed with reference to the levels of healthcare namely primary, secondary and tertiary.
  • They are generally based on the country’s disease burden, priority health concerns, affordability concerns etc.
  • In India, National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) formed in 2011 decides the essential medicines.
  • The list is prepared by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
  • NPPA fixes ceiling price of essential medicines of Schedule I under DPCO 2013.
  • The calculation for essential drugs is based on simple average of all medicines in particular therapeutic segment with sales of more than 1%.
  • In respect of medicines that are not under price control, manufacturers are allowed to increase the maximum retail price by 10% annually.

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