There is no such list of life saving drugs. The Government has, however, published a National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM), 2011. The objective of the NLEM is that the drugs included in it are adequate to meet the common contemporary health needs of the general population of the country. It is the general obligation of the health administrators to ensure abundant availability of these drugs in the country. The primary purpose of NLEM is to promote rational use of medicines considering the three important aspects i.e. cost, safety and efficacy. Furthermore, it promotes prescription by generic names. The NLEM is revised and updated from time to time in the context of contemporary knowledge of therapeutic products.
The NLEM, 2011 consists of 348 medicines belonging to 27 therapeutic categories such as antineoplastic, anti-cancer, immunological, anti infective Cardiovascular, ophthalmological preparations, Diuretics, anti-allergic etc. Department of Pharmaceuticals under Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers have been requested to bring all drugs in NLEM, 2011 under the price control regime of Drugs Price Control Order (DPCO).
This information was given by Minister for Health & Family Welfare Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad in written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha today.