Demand to increase the list of National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM)

New Delhi : The list of Essential Medicines has been revised every two years after the concept of Essential Medicines introduced by WHO in 1977. The medicines those are required as the priority healthcare drugs are called essential medicines. The concept of NLEM is accepted by the countries to maintain the highest possible level of health.

Recently, Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) officials submitted a report to the department of pharmaceuticals stating that the drugs are sold at higher prices than the market price.

FDA officials clearly stated that the MRP of the products varies for hospitals, distributors and manufacturers to profit. Profit percentage of more than 500% for catheters’ MRP also had revealed by FDA last week.

Government need to actively examine the whole pharmaceutical process to ensure healthy living of the population without paying extra for the medicines. Like the step taken by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority to cap the prices of a cardiac stents, various healthcare authorities like FDA, Non-government organizations and the legal metrology department have demanded a medical cap for other essential devices too.

There is no transparency in the medical devices as the brand of intraocular charging Rs. 8,000 to the consumer which has a landing cost of Rs800 only. And another brand charged Rs 11,350, which costs Rs. 7,000 only.

To ensure the health of the Indian Citizens, the Indian Government should also include the dental treatments like implant, and ophthalmic medication along with the intraocular lenses and catheters under National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM).

Adding value to the demand RPY Rao, president of SACR added that the profit percentage of 200% is for eye drops and injections that are sold above the manufacturing cost.  Rao gave examples of the eye drop “Dexamethansone”, used to treat short term inflammatory eye conditions, are sold at Rs. 35,000, which has great profit margin. So all organizations demanding to bring them all under NLEM with one single circular.

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