Considered to be a populist measure, this move by the central government, is however expected to bring down prices in the competitive pharma market
The 'Jan Aushudhi' drugs will be sold in the retail market at a competitive price, allowing consumers to buy a cheaper yet quality product from the government, official sources said.
As per reports, the government has identified 504 essential medicines, which include antibiotics, painkillers, vitamins and medicines used in treatment of cardiovascular, respiratory, diabetes and gastroenterology diseases. "In the first phase, we have mostly identified medicines from the top 100 drugs based on their sales.
These drugs will be made available to 800 select chemists, mostly across Delhi during the first phase. Later the government plans to expand the reach to most metros by the end of the year.
The Bureau of Pharma Public Sector Undertakings of India (BPPI), the nodal agency under the department of pharmaceuticals (DoP) for implementing this project, has already floated the tender seeking application for supply of medicines for the programme. The government, along with BPPI, has held consultations with various stakeholders including pharmaceutical firms to ensure there is regular and adequate supply of medicines. The proposal has also been vetted by the doctor fraternity, bringing on board the Medical Council of India as well as the Indian Medical Association to ensure doctors prescribe Jan Aushadhi drugs.