Concerning cancer, he stated that it’s “disappointing that more cost-effective, high-priced treatments for different cancers are not included on the list. In this area, pharmaceutical innovation is the fastest and in recognition of this, the WHO has recently implemented measures to broaden the cancer category of the world-wide Model Essential Medicines List.”
The move to include tobacco and opioids doctor Ravindra Rao, an additional professor at the National Drug Dependence and Treatment Centre of AIIMS Dr. Ravindra Rao, an AIIMS additional professor, said: “It is well documented that, without treatment with nicotine, the cessation rate for tobacco — whether chewing or smoking tobaccois just about 2percent per year, in contrast to more than 10% when using the therapies. A packet of nicotine gum is a lot more expensive than a packet of gutkha or beedi therefore it’s unattainable for the majority of.”
As he said: “in this program, opiodid replacement therapy it help to improve retention of patient and also increases the quit rates of patient.”
The rotavirus vaccination, which is part of the universal immunisation plan is also included. With the national program of Lymphatic Filariasis (elephantiasis) with an eye on the future, latest NLEM includes the drug that fights parasites, Ivermectin that was prescribed empirically with no scientific evidence by a large number of people for Covid-19 during the peak in the outbreak. An extremely effective multi-spectrum antibiotic called Meropenem was also added to the.
Although more recent TB medications such as Bedaquiline were added the committee rescinded three anti-tubercular medicines from the prior NLEM which included Kanamycin injection which was administered for patients suffering from drug-resistant TB. Since the government has now introduced an all-oral therapy for these patients The drug was associated with serious side effects including kidney problems and hearing loss.
It is the first time the committee has voted to include drugs currently under patents on the list like Bedaquiline or Delaminid to treat TB, Dolutegravir for HIV and Daclatasvir in the treatment of Hepatitis C. “A question always been asked by patented drugs should be included in NLEM,” the head of the committee. “The concern of whether patented pharmaceuticals should be included in NLEM has been addressed time and again,” stated the committee’s chairman, Dr. YK Gupta. “The committee, along with stakeholders and the ministry, determined that patented pharmaceuticals can also be included in the NLEM provided they meet the criteria (of necessity, safety, efficacy, and cost effectiveness), that these medicines are extremely important and should be included (on the list).”
Aisola explained, “Industry associations had been in a united effort to keep patent-protected drugs from NLEM and to a certain extent was success. It’s a good thing it is that the Ministry has specifically stated that patent status can’t be the sole basis for excluding the medicine in NLEM.”
He added that the drugs that were certified for the Covid-19 program were deemed not included since the data available on these drugs is not conclusive, and they’ve received only an emergency-use approval within the nation. Dr Gupta stated that the committee was looking to emphasize the rising usage of fixed-dose combinations and that only those drugs that are required to be consumed in fixed dose combinations, like those used to treat Parkinson’s disease or for hypertension, were listed in the NLEM.
“Although several antibiotic-resistant FDCs that include different analgesics and antibiotics minerals, vitamins, and so forth. are banned, several combinations are available on the market, with a lack of rationality. Although the committee wanted to release a list of negative symptoms of the disease however, it is limiting itself since the list would be a mere example and will not be comprehensive.”
The NLEM was first proposed in 1996. It was updated in 2003 2013, 2011, and 2015. It is a reflection of any changes in the profile of illnesses, newer medications on the market, and evolving treatments. The cost of the medicines listed on the list is set by the Centre and is not subject to change by the pharmaceutical companies themselves. Many of the medicines listed are available for free at health centers run by government.
In the event of the launch, the Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said, “The Prime Minister has stated that the citizens ought to be able to access lower-cost medicines (and) obtain the medicines whenever and wherever they are they are required. To ensure this that, the NLEM can be extremely beneficial. From this information the NPPA (National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority) will determine the maximum prices. ….”
“Prices of medications under NLEM cannot be changed by firms themselves,” he said, “but costs are increased or dropped every year as per the Wholesale Price Index, implying that prices of these drugs cannot be increased arbitrarily.