In an effort to address the issues of increasing drug prices in our country and the equally increasing demand for medicines, the Government of India has recently launched the Jan Aushadhi Scheme.The idea behind the scheme is to make medicines affordable to the general population without compromising the quality of medicines.
So, What is the Jan Aushadhi Scheme?
Jan Aushadhi scheme is a scheme launched by the Department of Pharmaceuticals in association with Central Pharma Public Sector Undertakings, to provide quality medicines at affordable prices to the masses. Jan Aushadhi stores have been set up to provide:
-High quality generic drugs at low prices.
-Create awareness through education and publicity that high prices of drug does not imply high efficacy and potency.
-Encourage doctors, more specifically in government hospitals to prescribe generic medicines.
What are Generic Medicines?
Generic medicines are those medicines which are not branded by private pharmaceutical companies but have the same efficacy as that of their branded and expensive counterparts. For example, you can compare the price difference between various branded versions of Pantoprazole versus generic Pantoprazole available at Jan Aushadhi stores
What are the Advantages of Generic Medicines over Branded Medicines?
The generic medicines have the same efficacy and therapeutic value as that of branded medicines. At the same time, they are cheaper than their branded counterparts.
How is the Quality, Efficacy and Safety of Medicines ensured?
The medicines procured from Central Public Sector Undertaking (CPSU) as well as private suppliers are tested from National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration (NABL) approved laboratories. If the samples of medicines comply to the required standards of NABL, then only they are supplied to the Super stockists of Jan Aushdhi and exclusive Jan Aushadhi Stores.
Which Medicines are covered under Jan Aushadhi scheme?
The Government has identified 504 essential medicines, which are used in treatment of cardiovascular, respiratory, diabetes and gastroenterology diseases.These include antibiotics (example: Ciproflxacin), painkillers (example: Diclofenac, Paracetamol, Nimesulide), cold & cough preparation (example: Cetirizine) and gastrointestinal medicines (example: Pantoprazole).
Where are Generic Medicines marketed under Jan Aushadhi scheme available ?
You can buy these generic medicines from Jan Aushadhi stores which have been opened across the states of Punjab, Haryana, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh,Rajasthan, Delhi, Uttrakhand, West Bengal, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh and Jharkhand. The list of stores is available on their website
While the Department of Pharmaceuticals (in association with Central Pharma Public Sector Undertakings) has launched Jan Aushadhi scheme, at the same time, National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) is controlling prices of essential drugs by publishing a List of Essential Medicines from time to time. You can read more about Price control of Drugs in India here