The city’s first medicine shop that sells only generic drugs, at Ghatkopar, is proving a hit with consumers. Jan Aushadhi is a chain of medical stores launched by the government of India to make available generic, low-cost versions of various medicines to people.
All medicines sold at these stores are obtained from the Bureau of Pharma Public Sector Undertakings, which coordinates the marketing and supply of generic drugs. Jan Aushadhi stores currently stock 400 medicines used to treat a variety of ailments, including cancer, diabetes, heart diseases and hypertension. The government aims to increase the number of medicines to 577 and the number of stores to 3,000 by 2017. A list of the medicines available at Jan Aushadhi stores is available online at janaushadhi.gov.in.
According to Shweta Mehta, co-owner of the Jan Aushadhi store in Ghatkopar, which began operations on February 16, generic medicines cost anywhere from one-fifth to one-tenth of the price of their branded counterparts. “These stores give people the option of buying unbranded, quality medicines at affordable prices. They will especially benefit patients who suffer from chronic ailments and need to take medicines over a prolonged period,” said Mehta.
Sandesh Paul, 40, a resident of Navi Mumbai, learnt about the chain of stores from this year’s budget announcements. “I have has been buying medicines for my mother’s diabetes and hypertension treatment for over a decade and the expenses are very heavy on the pocket,” said Paul, who recently started buying generic drugs from the Jan Aushadhi store.
Although doctors are not supposed to mention brand names in their prescriptions, according to guidelines set by the Medical Council of India, some doctors said that naming brands ensures that patients take good-quality drugs. “There is no doubt that generic drugs give people an affordable option, but we must wait and see the quality and efficacy of these drugs before prescribing them to all patients,” said Dr Atul Shah an orthopedic surgeon at Aadhar Orthopedic Clinic, Ghatkopar.
It belongs to a class of drugs used primarily as lipid-lowering agents. They also help prevent conditions associated with cardiovascular diseases.
10 atorvastatin tablets, 10mg each
Average market price: Rs 70
Jan Aushadhi price: Rs 12.64
This drug is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension) and congestive heart failure.
10 tablets of Ramipril, 5mg each
Average market price: Rs 80
Jan Aushadhi price: Rs 8.53
It is a common injectable antibiotic used in the treatment of a number of bacterial infections.
Average market price: Rs 350 to Rs 1,200
Jan Aushadhi price: Rs 40
Details of all medicines sold at Jan Aushadhi stores is available at www.janaushadhi.gov.in