Latest National List of Essential Medicines released : anti-cancer and diabetes therapies included

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The latest National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM), launched by Union Health Ministry, was extended by adding 34 new drugs which involve better therapies for diabetes and additional anti-cancer therapies on 13th September, 2022. Further the government stated that it will “reduce patients’ out-of-pocket expenditure”.

The NLEM 2022 was constructed keeping in mind about safety, efficacy and affordability, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said. Further stated that Indian regulator approved drugs are only included in this list considering the disease burden of the country and recent treatment line. The new NLEM 2022 include four additional anti-cancer therapies which is used to treat prostate cancer, certain type of blood and lymph node cancers, treat colorectal and pancreatic cancers with alone or in combination use of other drugs and also treating other type of cancers.

The NLEM 2015 involve 376 drugs which covered almost 800 formulations where as the NLEM 2022 include 384 drugs, covering around 1,000 formulations. These lists are usually updated after every 3 years but Covid-19 has affected the process of construction of the new list which took 7 years for its making.

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