The Government has proposed to soon open 1000 more stores under the ‘Jan Aushadhi Scheme’ to make available quality generic medicines at affordable prices through these special outlets. These stores will be opened for the underprivileged who would be provided medicines at a price of 60-70% less than the market price.
What is Jan Aushadhi Scheme?
It is a scheme which seeks to make available quality medicines at affordable prices for all, especially the poor and the disadvantaged.
- Under this, less priced quality unbranded generic medicines will be made available through Jan Aushadhi stores which inherently are less priced but are of same and equivalent quality, efficacy and safety as compared to branded generic medicines.
- Under this Scheme, the State Government has to provide space in Government Hospital premises for the running of the outlets (JAS). Government hospitals, NGOs, Charitable Organisations and public societies like Red Cross Society, Rogi Kalyan Samiti typically constituted for the purpose can be operating agencies for the JAS.
- The operating agency for JAS is nominated on the basis of the recommendations of the State government. Operational expenditure is met from trade margins admissible for the medicines.
- The State Government has to ensure prescription of unbranded generic medicines by the Government doctors.
- The Jan Aushadhi Programme is accordingly a self sustaining business model not dependent on government subsidies or assistance. It is run on the principle of “Not for Profits but with Minimal Profits”.
Benefits of the Scheme:
The Jan Aushadhi Campaign will help:
- Improve access to healthcare in as much as cost of treatment would come down substantially. This would enable the Public Health System to increase the coverage.
- Secure a socio-economically viable mechanism/institutional arrangement for efficacious sales of Pharma CPSU products, thereby improving their viability.
- Promote & encourage private industry to sell their quality unbranded generic products through these retail outlets.
- Educate doctors that unbranded generic medicines provide a better option that branded products since quality of generic medicines can be equally efficacious and safe at much lower prices.
- Create consumer awareness by involving private, charitable bodies and NGOs by making them part of the campaign.
- Reduce promotional cost and profits for the benefit of patients.
Ensuring successful implementation of the Jan Aushadhi campaign would dispel the myth that quality of medicines is linked to price and demonstrate that quality medicines can be sold at substantially lower prices.
Sources: The Hindu, PIB.