26 drugs dropped from 'essentials' list, at least one over cancer-causing fears | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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26 drugs dropped from 'essentials' list, at least one over cancer-causing fears. Details here

By | Edited by Chandrashekar Srinivasan
Sep 13, 2022 03:17 PM IST

NLEM 2022: Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya launched the new list of essential medicines and also announced a price cap on commonly used drugs.

Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Tuesday released a revised National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM), in which 384 drugs from 27 categories do not feature, including ranitidine - often taken for acidity and other stomach-related ailments and sold under brand names like Rantac, Zinetac and Aciloc, but removed now over cancer-causing concerns.

The new list of essential medicines contains 34 drugs. (Shutterstock (PIC FOR REPRESENTATION))
The new list of essential medicines contains 34 drugs. (Shutterstock (PIC FOR REPRESENTATION))

In 2020 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had recalled all ranitidine products (injectable and oral) after the revelation of low-level N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) presence; according to a study published by the Indian Journal of Pharmacology N-Nitrosamines are associated with stomach, esophagus, nasopharynx, and bladder cancers.

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As many as 34 drugs -including some anti-infectives like ivermectin, mupirocin and nicotine replacement therapy - have been added to the NLEM, taking the total drugs under it to 384.

News agency PTI said endocrine medicines and contraceptives fludrocortisone, ormeloxifene, insulin glargine and teneliglitin had also been added to the list. Montelukast, which acts on the respiratory tract, and ophthalmological drug Latanoprost are also in the list.

Cardiovascular medicines Dabigatran and Tenecteplase are also included, the PTI report said.

The health minister also announced a price cap on commonly-used drugs and said some antibiotics, vaccines and anti-cancer drugs would now be “more affordable and accessible” in an effort to “reduce patients' out-of-pocket expenditure”.

“The National List of Essential Medicines is being published today. Based on that... the National Pharma Pricing Authority will set its ceiling price... it is also based on this that it is decided no company increases price (of essential medicines) on its own.”

“It's a very long process. All the work is done by an independent committee. Interacted with more than 350 experts and 140 consultations,” Mandaviya said on the new NLEM.

This is the full list of medicines removed from the NLEM 2022:

1. Alteplase

2. Atenolol

3. Bleaching Powder

4. Capreomycin

5. Cetrimide

6. Chlorpheniramine

7. Diloxanide furoate

8. Dimercaprol

9. Erythromycin

10. Ethinylestradiol

11. Ethinylestradiol(A) + Norethisterone (B)

12. Ganciclovir

13. Kanamycin

14. Lamivudine (A) + Nevirapine (B) + Stavudine (C)

15. Leflunomide

16. Methyldopa

17. Nicotinamide

18. Pegylated interferon alfa 2a, Pegylated interferon alfa 2b

19. Pentamidine

20. Prilocaine (A) + Lignocaine (B)

21. Procarbazine

22. Ranitidine

23. Rifabutin

24. Stavudine (A) + Lamivudine (B)

25. Sucralfate

26. White Petrolatum

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