Bhubaneswar, Sep 11
After dragging its feet for several years on expediting the expansion of the Jan Aushadhi project since it was launched in 2008, the Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP) of the Union government is now expanding the reach of the project to Odisha and Uttar Pradesh.
The DoP, which could open merely 154 Jan Aushadhi generic drug stores in different parts of the country till March this year against an ambitious target of more than 600, has invited expression of interest from interested parties for running Jan Aushadhi stores in Uttar Pradesh and Odisha. The project, being operated by the Bureau of Pharma Public Sector Undertakings of India (BPPI), aims to make quality medicines available at affordable prices to the common people of the country.
A pharmacist, Trust or Society, including NGOs, which has the financial capacity to meet initial expenditure of Rs. 2 lakh and recurring expenditure and working capital of approximately Rs. 2 lakh can apply for the project. Preference will be given for opening stores at district headquarters. The present pattern of financial assistance — Rs. 2 lakh as establishment cost and Rs. 50,000 as one time start-up cost — to NGOs, institutions or cooperative societies, identified and supported by the state government in terms of providing space, shall continue.
At present, Jan Aushadhi stores have been opened in Punjab, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh.
Jan Aushadhi project was a pet project of former Union chemicals minister Ramvilas Paswan under which the government proposed to open at least one Jan Aushadhi store in each district of the country. Paswan launched the project on November 25, 2008 when he opened the first Jan Aushadhi store at Amritsar in Punjab. Though it is more than five years since the launch of the project, it did not pick up momentum ever since Paswan left the ministry after the Lok Sabha elections in 2009.
By establishing the Jan Aushadhis in each district, preferably in the premises of the district hospitals, the government wanted to ensure quality medicines to the poor people at affordable prices. At a time when the prices of medicines are increasingly becoming out of the reach of poorer sections of the society, the Jan Aushadhi stores are expected to prove to be a boon to them. Once implemented according to the prices suggested by the government, the treatment cost is set to come down drastically.
Though the project is going on at a snail’s pace at present, the DoP aims to set up 3150 Jan Aushadhi stores by the end of the current Five Year Plan as part of its plan to promote generic drugs in the country. (Source PHARMABIZ.com)