Jan Aushadhi Scheme

The Jan Aushadhi Scheme (Public Medicine Scheme) is a direct market intervention scheme of the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers {not health ministry}. Its aim is to make available quality generic medicines to all at affordable prices through Jan Aushadhi Store (JAS) opened in each district of the states. It was first launched in 2008 to provide quality medicines at affordable prices to the economically weaker sections of the society. The first JAS was opened at Amritsar Civil Hospital in 2008. Under the Jan Aushadhi Scheme, opening of 3000 Jan Aushadhi Stores across the country is targetted.

Objectives

  • To make available low priced quality medicines for all – thereby reducing the unit cost of treatment per person, more specifically for persons suffering from chronic ailments.
  • To create demand for generic medicine and encourage doctors especially in the government hospitals to prescribe generic medicines to their patients.
  • To create awareness among people about the efficacy of the generic drugs.
About generic medicines

Generic medicines are unbranded medicines which are identical or bioequivalent to the branded ones and have the same efficacy in terms of therapeutic value to its branded equivalent. These medicines are available at a much cheaper price than the branded medicines.

Implementing agency

Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India (BPPI) is the implementing agency. It was established in 2008 and comes under the Department of Pharmaceuticals with the support of all the Pharma CPSUs such as:

  • Indian Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Limited (IDPL),
  • Rajasthan Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Limited (RDPL)
  • Karnataka Antibiotics and Pharmaceuticals Limited (KAPL)
  • Bengal Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Limited (BCPL)

BPPI got registered as an independent society in 2010 under the Societies Registration Act, 1860

BPPI primarily focuses on coordinating marketing of the generic drugs through the Jan Aushadhi stores and sourcing of medicines from Pharma CPSUs and Private Sector. It also manages the supply chain and ensures proper running of the Jan Aushadhi stores.

Who can open Jan Aushadhi stores?

Non-governmental organizations, charitable institutions, private hospitals, reputed professional organizations and self help groups can open new Jan Aushadhi stores. Around 182 Jan Aushadhi stores have been opened and out of which 111 are oprerational as of july 2015 in 16 states/UTs like Punjab, Haryana, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Jharkhand.

One-time assistance of Rs.2 lakh for establishment and one time start up cost of Rs. 50,000 is paid to the operating agency of each outlet as government assistance.

How many medicines are covered under this scheme?

At present 361 medicines are covered by this scheme and the government proposes to increase it to 500. These medicines are packed in special Jan Aushadhi packs with bilingual labels stating clearly the generic name of the drug.

Major constraints faced by this scheme

The public sector undertakings in the pharmaceutical sector are unable to cover all of the 361 medicines identified in this scheme. They are able to cover only 130 medicines. A study made by the Public Health Foundation of India has identified the following factors to be the major constraints in making the scheme unsuccessful:

  • Over dependence on support from State Government.
  • Poor Supply Chain management.
  • Non-prescription of Generic Medicines by the doctors.
  • State Governments launching free supply of drugs.
  • Lack  of awareness among the public
 What have been stated regarding the scheme in the budget 2016?

The government has planned to open 3000 Jan Aushadhi stores in 2016-17. Rs.35 crore has been allotted for Jan Aushadhi stores in this budget. Recently, the government has stated that the scheme will be relaunched soon with private participation and will be renamed as the Prime Minister’s Jan Aushadhi Yojana.

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