Jan Aushadhi Kendras have led to cheaper drugs, savings for masses, said Prime Minister Modi.
"Over 6000 Jan Aushadhi Kendras have opened up in the country. Every month, over one crore families seek drugs from these Kendras. For instance, certain drugs for cancer in branded segments cost upto ₹6500 which are available in Jan Aushadhi Kendras at rate of ₹850. Nearly ₹2000 to ₹2500 crore are being saved for the common man by buying generic drugs" said Modi.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with patients and chemists from seven states on occasion of Jan Aushadhi Diwas through video conferencing.
Patients from Assam, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Tamilnadu and Bihar shared their experiences on how drugs from Jan Aushadhi Kendras run under a scheme floated by Department of Pharmaceuticals - Jan Aushadhi Scheme had led to drugs cheaper by 50 to 90 per cent for the patients, due to provision of generic medicines in these stores.
When Guwahati's Anubhav Mohanta suffered from a train accident and was rendered 72 per cent disabled he decided to start two such stores. "Earlier lesser people used to come, but now more people are coming to buy drugs," Mohanta said in the video conference.
Ashok Kumar, a patient of high blood pressure and diabetes had a bypass surgery in 2015. "I have been on drugs since four years and I save ₹2500 per month by buying medicines from Jan Aushadhi Kendra," Kumar said.
Dehradun's Mukesh Agarwal said that patients in Uttarakhand were in a dire state, and he wanted to help them, so he formed a charitable trust - Prayas, in 2011. He eventually started Jan Aushadhi stories to provide subsidised medicines. One of his beneficiaries is Deepa Kumari who suffered a paralytic attack and developed a slur in her speech few years ago.
Deepa said, "The drugs were very expensive. I used to earlier spend ₹5000 per month which has now reduced to ₹1500. I eat nutritious food - fruits and vegetables with the money I save."
Pune's Zeba khan, a mother of two teens is reeling under a kidney disease which requires her to undergo dialysis regularly for her condition. "Earlier, I used to buy drugs for ₹2200 to ₹2500 a month and my budgets went awry. Now I ger drugs for ₹800 a month and, I can use the rest of the money towards my kids education," Khan said.
In Varanasi, Aparna Karpriya is running multiple Jan Aushadhi Kendras since 18 months. "I have eight stores in Varanasi and one in Robertganj, Sonabhadra district. Cancer medicines worth ₹1800 are available for ₹800. Senior citizens and women are the major beneficiaries of the stores. Women buy sanitary napkins. I sell four lakh sanitary napkins from my stores every month. Women come and take the napkins away for their friends and neighbours too. More so, I have provided direct employment to close to 25 people in my stores including women and the disabled," said Aparna.
Ghulam Nabi Dhar, a senior citizen and a lawyer from Pulwama said, "I used to spend ₹10,000 a month for my drugs but now I spend only ₹1000 a month. I am getting cheap drugs and I want to request for this scheme to spread in remote villages of Kashmir too."
Sheryl Balakrishnan, a social entrepreneur from Coimbatore runs not only 32 Jan Aushadhi pharmacies but also a clinic where he employs 12 doctors and a dental medicine department too. "Patients are charged ₹50 as consulting fees here, they receive medical advice as also drugs at cheaper rates," said Balakrishnan.
Geeta Kumari, a diabetic patient visits Balakrishnan's clinic to seek medicines for herself and her family. "Earlier, I used to spend ₹2000 for a month on drugs and now its ₹600 to ₹700. Annually, I save ₹35,000 on drugs," Geeta said.
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