The primary purpose of essential medicines is to promote rational use of medicines considering the three important aspects i.e. cost, safety and efficacy. The Government of India, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MOHFW) took ahead the responsibility to ensure the quality and efficacy of healthcare system by assuring availability of safe and efficacious medicines for healthy society. Department of AYUSH, under MOHFW has taken up the task of revision and updating the essential drug list of Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy; so as to ensure the peoples access to the public ayush health facilities. The Essential Drugs List of Ayurveda (EDLA) -2013 comprised of 277 ayurvedic generic medicines and was prepared over the exercise of one year with the wide range of consultations with experts from various disciplines irrespective of organizations from different parts of country. . There are positive aspects in the list such as dispensing unit pack size, dose and mode of administration, precautions with contraindications and also the preferred level of use (OPD/IPD). A critical review of the present list of 2013 in comparison with earlier list of 2000, National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) 2011 and WHO model list of essential medicines (WHO MLEM) 2013 reveals some areas of major and minor concerns. Major concerns or blind spots in EDLA 2013 are - it is not presented as per the WHO model list of essential medicines i.e., therapeutic area wise categorization; non inclusion of commonly used formulations in the list etc., Minor concerns are non-inclusion of an alphabetical index of all the medicines, syntax, formatting errors and spelling errors may also undermine the usefulness of the EDLA 2013 as a reference material. This document is made out of interest for the benefit of people, which should be made available to the general population to read and to offer useful suggestions before the final draft is released as a reference document. This review highlights the importance of general public considerations towards effective drafting of this document.
Key words: AYUSH, Essential Drug List of Ayurveda (EDLA), Essential medicines, generic medicines