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Access to essential medicines is a major determinant of health outcomes and an integral, and often crucial component of health care. An approach to ensuring access to medicines closer to community has been promoted through the list of Essential Medicines. It is necessary for the states to prioritize which medicines should be made available based on the existing demographic profile and disease prevalence rate and update the state EML. All essential medicines should be available free of cost in all HWCs under ‘Free Drugs Service Initiative’ of GoI.

For AAPLA DAWAKHANA, the provisioning of medicines is to be ensured as per CPHC guidelines for Urban-PHCs.

As the list of medicines is dynamic, the recommendations made under IPHS are as per National List of essential medicines. With the launch of universal NCD screening and comprehensive primary health care, long-term dispensing of medicines for the management of chronic illnesses such as diabetes and hypertension has been initiated.

Storage of medicines should be such that spoilage is minimized. Medicine stores should avoid dampness (for example, no leaking roofs) and basic principles like ‘first expiry, first out’ for drugs and vaccines should be followed. Storage of medicines in clinical areas should be avoided. For medicines and vaccines requiring cold-chain storage, adequate provisions can be made. Accurate record of stock should be maintained.