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Drugs & Logistics

Provision of Free Drugs under National Health Mission (NHM) 

• India has historically underinvested in public health. Public spending on health hovers around just 1% of the GDP, one of the lowest among all countries.

• Consequently, India is among countries with the highest out of pocket expenses on health care. As a result of catastrophic health expenditure, over 2% population shifts from APL to BPL every year.

• Expenditure on drugs constitutes more than 70% of the health care cost. Provision of free drugs in public health facilities can, therefore, bring enormous relief to people and substantially bring down out of pocket expenditure on health.

 Provision of Free Essential Drugs is one of the most important steps towards mitigating the burden of health care costs.

• Financial support is provided to States under National Health Mission to strengthen the health system including supply of drugs based on the requirement proposed by the State in their annual Programme Implementation Plans. States are being incentivized up to 5% of their total outlay NHM to prepare policy and establish systems for free distribution of essential drugs including preparation of Essential Drug List (EDL), Standard Treatment Protocols, robust procurement system etc for free distribution of essential medicines in Public Health facilities.

• Various programme components under NHM such as Maternal health, Child health, Family planning, Adolescent health and National disease control programmes prescribe specific drugs which are either centrally procured or funds are provided to States/ UTs for decentralized procurement. Apart from programme specific drugs, funds are also provided for general drugs and supplies.

 

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