Commonly Used Hygiene Products to be Added to the List of Essential Drugs Soon


eMediNexus    22 February 2023

The government has started the process of finalizing a list of frequently used hygienic goods, such as adult diapers, sanitary napkins, floor cleaners, and soaps, which will be added to the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM). In 2019, the government decided to expand the NLEM basket by covering health and hygiene products. The government has now asked a committee of experts to resume the meetings and shortlist these products so that they can be brought under NLEM.


The National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) committee had established subcommittees in the past to classify drugs, disposables, medical equipment, and health and hygiene items based on how crucial they are to healthcare. The subcommittee will list consumables and hygiene goods and transfer the list to another committee.


According to a committee member who asked to remain anonymous, what kinds of gloves, namely simple, powdered, lubricated, etc., should be on the list? Similarly, adult diapers and sanitary napkins need to be on the list. He also added that the experts will discuss the various hygiene items that should always be accessible inside the healthcare system.


Unlike products on the non-scheduled list, which are permitted an annual price increase of no more than 10%, drugs and equipment listed in NLEM must be marketed at the NPPA-set price. The government updated the NLEM in September last year to include many anti-diabetes medications as well as proprietary antivirals used to treat HIV, hepatitis C, and HIV.


Teneligliptin, a well-known anti-diabetic medication; insulin glargine injection; and common antibiotics like meropenem and cefuroxime have all been added to the NLEM in 2022, resulting in lower prices for these items. 


(Source: https://health.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/policy/essential-drugs-list-to-soon-include-commonly-used-hygiene-products/98135238 )

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