The government is set to re-launch its pharmacy chain, Jan Aushadhi, to sell generic drugs ranging from anti-biotics, anti-cardiac, anti-infective and gastro intestinal drugs at prices at least half of branded drugs.
The project would be launched in six states on a pilot basis from June 21, where 5,000 stores would be opened across the country in a phased manner.
The scheme failed in 2008 due to poor supply-chain management.
“Now, we are re-launching the noble scheme after fixing all the issues. We are strengthening the supply-chain management and implementation agencies to support the scheme, where we plan to establish atleast 5,000 outlets with about 500 essential medicines across the country,” said a senior bureaucrat at DoP engaged in the implementation of the Jan Aushadhi scheme. “The revival of sick pharma units such as Indian Drugs and Pharmaceutical Ltd and Hindustan Antibiotics Ltd is also a part of the strategy.”
The Centre will also engage medium and small, enterprises for manufacturing the drugs.
The government will also train and encourage doctors to prescribe generic drugs. “As generic drugs are priced 4-16 times lesser than branded ones, we will slowly make the move to open these stores at private hospitals too,” the official cited earlier said.
In one year, the Jan Aushadhi stores are expected to be opened in all medical colleges and district hospitals. In the next three years, the scheme would be extended to the rest of the country, covering all therapeutic areas. There are 98 outlets currently functioning out of the established 178.
Officials of the Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP), the nodal agency for implementation of the scheme, recently held meetings with the Indian Medical Association and the Medical Council of India to boost generic drugs consumption.