A comparative review on national list of essential medicines, India (NLEMI 2011) v/s WHO essential drug list 2013

Author : Arshiya Shamim, Hefazat H. Siddiqui, Tarique Mahmood, Supriya Roy

Essential medicines lists form the basis to improve the quality and cost effectiveness of health care delivery when taken together with proper procurement policies and good prescribing practices. The Ministry of Health, Government of India revised the National List of Essential Medicines India (NLEMI 2011) in June 2011, eight years after the last revision. The NLEMI 2011 contains 348 medicines and was prepared over one and a half years by 87 experts. It is commendable that there are various positive aspects to the list such as detailed description of the revision process, inclusion of many experts from various fields in the review committee, well written description of the essential medicines concept and others; however a critical review of the list reveals areas of major and minor concerns. So there is a need of thorough comparison and critical review of the NLEM 2011 with WHO Essential drug list, 2013 and its compliance with the National Health Programs as well as the National Formulary of India 2010.

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