National Essential Medicine Lists

Availability of essential medicines is one of the essential building blocks of healthcare system. Essential medicines are those which satisfy the primary healthcare need of the population. These are intended to be available within the context of functioning of health system at all times, in adequate amounts, in the appropriate dosage form with assured quality, and at a price that the individual and community can afford.

Careful selection of a limited range of essential medicines of high quality can provide better management towards judicious use of health resources.

National standard treatment guidelines navigate selection of essential medicine with the expectation to ensure their availability with reference to proper use of medicine within the healthcare system while reducing its cost.

National Essential Medicine List NEML is a critical document which provides and supports quality of health services across the country. The list is based on disease prevalence, evidence on efficacy and safety, and comparative cost-effectiveness and parameters adapted by W.H.O in its latest edition of Model List of Essential Medicines.

Health sector in general and Pharmaceutical sector in particular is expected to seriously consider adopting this list as a way forward to guide Provincial Governments in Medicine & Pharmaceutical sector policies, the determinants of medicines access and availability. The Provincial Governments can play a pivotal role to encourage procurement and supply chain management policies based on essential medicine concepts to promote rational use of scarce public resources. Drug Regulatory Authority is committed to make all efforts to improve patient care through availability of cost efficacious, safe & quality medicines availability in the country.

Current List

The current version, updated in December 2021 is based on the 22nd WHO Model List of Essential Medicines List (MLEM).

National Essential Medicine List-2021
English ( 10.8 MB – PDF)

Previous Lists

National Essential Medicine List-2020
English ( 55 MB – PDF)

National Essential Medicine List-2018
English ( 15 MB – PDF)

National Essential Medicine List-2016
English ( 39 MB – PDF)

National Pharmacovigilance Centre, DRAP intends to seek comments of Stakeholders on “Draft Guidelines on High Alert Medication Management”

DRAP envisions advancement in the healthcare system of Pakistan by working at par with international standards, and best regulatory practices through effective management and regulation of therapeutic goods. The National Pharmacovigilance Centre (NPC) at DRAP prepares and issues guidelines from time to time for different activities relating to Pharmacovigilance and promotion of pharmacy services to cater to the needs of different stakeholders.

NPC, DRAP has recently published a revised list of High Alert Medication on the official website and is currently developing a Guidelines on High Alert Medication Management.

This document is intended for the guidance and support of hospitals and healthcare professionals (HCP) for safe prescribing, dispensing, administration and monitoring of high alert medication (HAM) and applies to all healthcare settings and healthcare professionals involved in handling and usage of HAM. The outlined and recommended strategies are intended to educate HCPs, prevent risks associated with HAM, implement safety checks and encourage reporting of Adverse Events /Adverse Drug Reactions. 

This draft guideline is uploaded on the official website of DRAP dated 16th June, 2022, for seeking comments and suggestions from stakeholders on the draft document. Stakeholders can submit their comments and suggestions within 15 days of uploading this document using prescribed format, (further information on comments submission can be accessed on this link). Comments and suggestions can be forwarded via email to npc@dra.gov.pk, copying at aqsa.hashmi@dra.gov.pk , or can be posted at mailing address, Director, Division of Pharmacy Services, Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan, 3rd floor, TF Complex, 7th Mauve Area, G-9/4, Islamabad.

National Pharmacovigilance Centre, DRAP holds one-day training session for Healthcare Professionals in collaboration with regional centre.

National Pharmacovigilance Centre, DRAP holds one-day training session for Healthcare Professionals in collaboration with regional centre.


National Pharmacovigilance Centre (NPC), Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) in collaboration with Islamabad Pharmacovigilance Centre and Shifa
International Hospital, Islamabad conducted a one-day pharmacovigilance training session on 19th of May, 2022. Director and Deputy Director Pharmacy Services Division, Team Lead Vigilance and Focal Persons of National Pharmacovigilance Centre and Islamabad Pharmacovigilance Centre attended the training session.

Pharmacovigilance focal persons of public and private sector hospitals of Islamabad were trained on ADRs reporting as per Pharmacovigilance Rules, 2022. Hands-on training on collecting and filling in ADRs reporting forms and subsequent causality assessment was provided to the participants. The training was concluded with the hope of arranging further such sessions in the future.

Islamabad 19th May, 2022: One-day training session on pharmacovigilance activities for healthcare professional conducted by National Pharmacovigilance Centre, DRAP, Islamabad in collaboration with regional pharmacovigilance centre, Islamabad

DRAP issued Guidelines for Public Health Programs (PHPs) to promote Pharmacovigilance activities and enhancing collaboration with National Pharmacovigilance Centre, DRAP.

Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) aims at providing a holistic system of Pharmacovigilance in the country. Public Health Programs are key stakeholders involved in the reporting, assessment and risk communication of various un-wanted effects arising after the use of drugs, vaccines and other therapeutic goods. Reporting of Adverse Events associated with the use of therapeutic goods exclusively being used by PHPs is essential to a pharmacovigilance system.

The key objectives of pharmacovigilance activities in public health programs are:-

  1. To improve public health and safety in relation to the use of therapeutic goods in PHPs;
  2. To detect problems related to the use of therapeutic goods and associated risk communication in a timely manner
  3. To encourage the safe, rational and more effective use of therapeutic goods.

This guideline will assist the Public Health Programs (PHPs) for enhancement of pharmacovigilance activities, and provide a guidance on communication channels among PHPs and Pharmacovigilance Centres for collaborative working to synergize activities within the National Pharmacovigilance system of Pakistan.

DRAP published the draft of this guidelines on its website on 23rd April, 2022 inviting the comments of stakeholders on the draft. After through consultation and careful consideration, fist edition of the guidelines on the pharmacovigilance activities in the public health programs are finalized. Nevertheless, anyone can still furnish his/her comments on the guidelines using our comments submissions methods for consideration in the future editions of the document.

Please click to view the document, GUIDELINES ON PHARMACOVIGILANCE FOR PUBLIC HEALTH PROGRAMMES

DRAP issues guidance on the submissions of Clinical Trials Applications

The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) regulates the conduct of clinical trials of therapeutic goods in Pakistan under the Bio-Study Rules, 2017. This document provides general guidance to the applicants in making new applications for clinical trials on therapeutic goods, or any subsequent submissions and regulatory requirements to be fulfilled. It also provides an outline on the procedure for submission, review, evaluation and approval of applications for the conduct of clinical trials.

These guidelines will assist sponsors, researchers, investigators, clinical research organization (CRO), who intends to submit a new application for conduct of a clinical trials or its subsequent submissions under the regulatory scope of the Bio-Study Rules, 2017.

These guidelines explains the procedures for filing applications of clinical trials and provides an insight on the steps to be followed by the applicants. As per DRAP Act, 2012 and Drug Act, 1976 it is required that all the therapeutic goods marketed in Pakistan must have a valid authorization / registration with the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP), and any clinical trials using such registered or unregistered products must receive written approval (i.e. license for Clinical Trial Site & Clinical Studies) from DRAP, under the Bio-Study Rules 2017 for that purpose.

DRAP published the draft of this guidance document on its website on 8th April, 2022 inviting the comments of stakeholders on the draft. After through consultation and careful consideration, fist edition of the guidance document on the clinical trial applications is finalized. Nevertheless, anyone can still furnish his/her comments on the guidance documents using our comments submissions methods for consideration in the future editions of the document.

Please click here to view the Guidance on Clinical Trials Applications