Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi kendras playing vital role to combat CoVID 19-PMBJP
Part of: GS-III- Economy (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadi Kendras are playing a vital role in COVID-19 situation as around ten lakh persons per day are visiting such Kendras to source quality medicines at affordable prices. Currently, six thousand Jan Aushadi Kendras are working round the clock across the country where at par quality medicines are sold at cheaper price by 50 percent to 90 percent of average market price. Last month, around 52 crore rupees worth of medicines have been supplied throughout the country. These Kendras are also selling Hydroxy chloroquine, N95 masks, three-ply masks, hand sanitizers and other items at cheaper price.
- In November 2008, with an objective to make available generic medicines at affordable prices to all, the Department of Pharmaceuticals under the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers launched the “Jan Aushadhi Scheme”.
- To reinvigorate the supply of affordable generic medicines with efficacy and quality equivalent to that of branded drugs, the scheme was revamped as “Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Yojana” in 2015.
- To provide further momentum to the ongoing scheme, it was again renamed as “Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Pariyojana” (PMBJP).
The scheme aims at educating the masses about the generic medicines and that high prices are not always synonymous with high quality. It intends to cover all therapeutic groups and create demand for generic medicines through medical practitioners.
- Under PMBJP, Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendras (PMBJK) are set up across the country so as to reduce the out of pocket expenses for health care.
- The Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India (BPPI) under the Department of Pharmaceuticals is involved in coordinating, procuring, supplying and marketing generic medicines through PMBJK.
- The procured generic medicines are sold at 50% to 90% lesser prices as compared to the market prices of branded medicines.
- All drugs procured under this scheme are tested for quality assurance at NABL (National Accreditation Board Laboratories) accredited laboratories and is compliant with WHO GMP (World Health Organisation’s Good Manufacturing Practices) benchmarks. Government grants of up to 2.5 Lakhs are provided for setting up of PMBJKs.
- They can be set up by doctors, pharmacists, entrepreneurs, Self Help Groups, NGOs, Charitable Societies, etc. at any suitable place or outside the hospital premises.
- The railway ministry has given in-principle approval to opening up of Jan Aushadi Kendras at railway stations and other railway establishments under PMBJP. This is a significant move, as the access to generic medicines on railway stations would boost the accessibility, affordability of essential medicines and improve the convenience for the customers.
- Jan Aushadi Oxo-Biodegradable Sanitary Napkins
- Janaushadhi Kendras which sold sanitary napkins earlier for ?2.50, has now further reduced it to ?1 by adapting this technology.
- These sanitary pads will be able to biodegrade after they have been discarded as soon as they come in contact with oxygen.
- A very large number of women and girls suffer as good quality sanitary pads are not available at an affordable cost. This is mostly seen in village areas and other underprivileged areas of the country.
Jan Aushadi Sugam Application
The PMBJP launched a mobile application in order to help people locate the Janaushadhi Kendras in the areas around them.
Since smartphones are seen accessible to all the groups of the society, the PMBJP aims to promote their affordable healthcare scheme through available technology. Affordable healthcare seeker can easily find these PMBJK and get generic medicines at a substantially low cost compared to that of the branded OTC (over-the-counter) ones.
What is a Generic Medicine?
Generic medicines are unbranded medicines which are equally safe and having the same efficacy as that of branded medicines in terms of their therapeutic value. The prices of generic medicines are much cheaper than their branded equivalent.
Outreach of generic medicines:
- With developments like more and more doctors prescribing generic medicines and opening of over 5050 Janaushadhi stores across 652 districts, awareness and availability of high quality affordable generic medicines has increased in the country. About 10-15 lakh people benefit from Janaushadhi medicines per day and the market share of generic medicines has grown over three fold from 2% to 7%in last 3 years.
- The Janaushadhi medicines have played a big role in bringing down the out of pocket expenditure of patients suffering from life threatening diseases in India. The PMBJP scheme has led to total savings of approximately Rs.1000 crores for common citizens, as these medicines are cheaper by 50% to 90% of average market price.
- The PMBJP is also providing a good source of self-employment with self-sustainable and regular earnings.