The Indian government is considering to provide more than 50 essential drugs, including cancer and AIDS drugs, at cheaper rates to a large section of the population, said Union Minister Ananth Kumar.
As of now, the government keeps a tab on the prices of essential medicines which are included in the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM).
"There are about 100 crore people in the country who are either below poverty line, or in low income group or in middle income group. So there is need to ensure health security for such people," Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers Ananth Kumar said at an event.
Therefore we would like to provide them drug security and for that we need to provide 50-55 such medicines which are used to cure cough, viral, flu, typhoid, diabetes, hypertension, HIV AIDS and cancer, the minister said.
"These 50-55 medicines are very essential and we need a bracket of such 50-55 medicines which should be provided at cheaper rates and are of good quality. Therefore the government is looking into this and exploring this," Kumar said.
The minister also emphasized that for the sake of health security there is need to energize and revive the sick pharma PSUs and said that the government is working on it.
Besides this, there is also need to bring medical devices under the list of NLEM to keep a check on their prices, he added.
Meanwhile, as per Drug Price Control Order (DPCO), 2013, NPPA fixes ceiling prices of the medicines under NLEM and no person is authorized to sell them at a price exceeding the price notified by NPPA.