ICMR Includes Ivermectin for COVID-19 Indication in National List of Essential Medicines

The Indian government recently slashed the price of 39 important drugs covering a range of therapeutic drugs from cancer to COVID-19 as part of the revised Indian National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM). TrialSite reports among the commonly used drugs prominently on the list are ivermectin indicated for SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind COVID-19. Reported in PharmaBiz among others “Interestingly, the additions in the list include drugs including Ivermectin, which has been touted by many as an effective drug to treat Covid-19 virus, though some experts deny any such effect on the same”

The Situation

The NLEM list goes back a number of years yet takes on a new imperative given health and economic suffering caused by COVID-19.  The toll of the pandemic has been hard on the Indian population thus the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)—the apex biomedical research body of India and one of the oldest and largest medical research institutes in the world—has been eying price controls as a means of providing patient relief.

Price controls across targeted therapeutic areas include the following:

· Cancer

· Diabetes

· Anti-viral

· TB

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