Soon, access to generic drugs will improve

G Naga Sridhar Hyderabad | Updated on January 24, 2018 Published on June 12, 2015

A Jana Aushadi pharmacy run by Senior Citizens Community Services Trust, in Vijayawada. V RAJU

Jan Aushadhi stores to be set up in PPP mode

Access to affordable medicine is set to improve. Generic medicines under the Jan Aushadhi scheme will soon be sold in private hospitals, thanks to a new public-private partnership model.

The Jan Aushadhi scheme is being run by the Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India (BPPI), set up by the Department of Pharmaceuticals to provide drugs at affordable rates.

“It has now been decided to extend the scheme through public-private partnership and partnering with individual entrepreneurs so that people take full advantage of the scheme,” the Department of Pharmaceuticals said in a notification issued on Friday.

It has also invited applications from private hospitals, NGOs (non-government organisations) and charitable institutions to set up Jan Aushadhi stores to provide special assistance under various schemes.

A simple comparison of prices shows that normal drugs are three to fourteen times costlier outside than at Jan Aushadhi stores.

The move is expected to provide people wider access to generic medicines at cheaper rates. The reach of these stores has remained limited since their launch in 2008 as they were set up only in government hospitals in select locations across the country. According to BPPI data, there are about 160 such stores now, selling over 360 important drugs at lower margins.

Business plan

Though there are challenges in creating awareness and trust among people about the efficacy of generic drugs and motivate doctors to prescribe them, the new business plan proposes to expand the number of such stores to 3,000 in the next three years.

Varying margins

While the base prices of medicines available at the stores are fixed by the National Pharma Pricing Authority (NPPA), trade margins generally vary between 8 per cent and 20 per cent depending on the nature of the drug.

Revised prices have also been announced for 259 drugs to be sold in these stores.

According to an official, the government had also identified 504 essential medicines which will be sold at retail chemists at lower margins.

This will be in addition to the exclusive Jan Aushadhi stores. This initiative is expected to be launched in a couple of months in Delhi on a pilot basis.

Published on June 12, 2015
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