The Core-Committee through a series of meetings and consultations across the country, deliberated and revised the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) 2011.
There were 348 medicines listed in NLEM 2011. A total of 106 medicines have been added, and 70 medicines have been deleted to prepare NLEM 2015 which now contains a total of 376 medicines.
Medicines in NLEM are listed with reference to the levels of healthcare, namely, Primary (P), Secondary (S) and Tertiary (T). There are 209 medicine formulations listed for all levels of health care (P, S, T), 115 medicine formulations for secondary and tertiary levels (S, T) and 79 medicine formulations for the tertiary level (T). It is to be noted that formulations of certain medicines are listed at different levels but as item, they are counted as one. The total number of medicines remains 376.
The essentiality of a medicine has been considered in terms of its dosage form and strength also.
The NLEM 2015 has been prepared adhering to the basic principles of Efficacy, Safety, Cost-Effectiveness; consideration of diseases as public health problems in India. The list could be called as a Best-Fit List.