Jan Aushadhi – Quality Medicines at Affordable Prices

Quality Medicines at Affordable Prices

Jan Aushadhi is a scheme of the Govt. of India, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, department of pharmaceuticals which has been launched in 2008 with an aim to make quality generic medicines available at affordable prices to the general public. The medicines are manufactured mainly by the Govt. of India PSUs. Broad objectives of this scheme are as under:

Make quality the hallmark of medicine availability in the country, by ensuring, access to quality medicines through the CPSU supplies and through GMP Compliant manufacturers in the private sector. Despite constraints of budget in the Central and State governments, extend coverage of quality generic medicines which would reduce and thereby redefine the unit cost of treatment per person.

Develop a model which can be replicated not only in India but also in other less developed countries in their common goal of improving quality affordable health care by improving access to quality medicines at affordable prices for all.

Create awareness through education and publicity so that quality is not synonymous with high price but less is more that is to say that, with a lesser price, more medicines would be available, more patients would be treated and more people will lead a healthier life.

Be a public program involving State governments, the Central government, Public Sector enterprises, private Sector, NGOs, Cooperative bodies and other institutions. Create a demand for generic medicines By All for All by improving access to better healthcare through low treatment costs and easy availability wherever needed in All therapeutic categories.

The first Jan Ausjadhi drug store was started at JBMM Civil hospital, Amritsar 0n 25th of Nov, 2008. Presently, there are over 250 Jan Aushadhi drug stores running across the country.

In Jammu and Kashmir, the State Branch of Indian Red Cross Society has been entrusted with the responsibility of implementing the Jan Aushadhi Scheme. As a result, the first such store was inaugurated by the Hon’ble Governor (President of Red Cross in the state) on 9th May, 2011 at Red Cross office complex, Srinagar. Presently three such stores -one each at Srinagar, Anantnag and Leh- are functioning. The state Government, through the Department of Health and Medical Education, has already issued directions to the concerned administrative heads of the Govt. Hospitals to provide rent-free space to the Red Cross for opening of Jan Aushadhi stores. In the first stage, Jan Aushadhi Stores shall be opened at all District Hospitals and Associated Hospitals of GMC, Srinagar and Jammu. After successful implementation of the first stage, opening of such stores shall be taken up at Sub-district level too. Under the new drug policy which the state Govt. is planning to implement very soon, all the Doctors working in the Govt. hospitals would be bound by legislation to prescribe generic medicines only. In the wake of the recent issue of spurious drugs in the State, the Government is eying the Red Cross as the most reliable option to facilitate the supply of essential drugs from the Govt. of India PSUs even to the Govt. Hospitals.

Roles and Responsibilities of Various Stakeholders:

1) Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India (BPPI)

In order to enable a focused and empowered structure to implement the scheme, a Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India (BPPI) has been established on the 1st of December 2008 comprising all the Pharma CPSUs under the Department of Pharmaceuticals. The Bureau will brings effective collaboration and cooperation in furthering the working and resources of these organizations. More specifically it:

  • Co-ordinates marketing of the generic drugs through the jan aushadhi stores.
  • Co-ordinate ssupply of medicines in the State from their own plants, other pharma PSUs of Central & State Governments and Private Sector.
  • Coordinates with Hospitals in preparation of formulary.
  • Monitors proper running of jan aushadhi stores with the help of other CPSUs.
  • Provides medicines as per rates decided in the joint Forum/Core Committee
  • Monitors activities of the jan aushadhi stores in the areas allocated to them.

2) Department of Pharmaceuticals and NPPA

A Core committee has been set up to coordinate the implementation of progress with State Governments, Private sector and CPSUs. The Committee will:

  • Create consumer awareness through multimedia publicity.
  • Prepare a comprehensive scheme after the success of the pilot project, for all districts of the country with a specific focus on the poor and disadvantaged sections of the society. Part expenditure would be met by Central Government/CPSUs in such a way that the three partners i.e. Central Government, State Government and the Private sector contribute towards the scheme either financially or in case of private sector by supplying medicines at no-profit or nominal profit basis.
  • Periodically review and evaluate the implementation of the scheme and carry out suitable correction to further improve it bases on the experience gained.

3) State Govt.

Since Jan Aushadhi is a Govt. Scheme started solely for the public health care and welfare, the role of Governments-both Central and the State is vital in making the scheme a success. Specifically, the role of the state government is to provide rent-free spaces for opening of the Jan Aushadhi Stores within the premises of the Govt. hospitals and ensure its monitoring through the concerned hospital administration

4) Role of Red Cross.

In J&K, the State branch of Red Cross shall open Jan Aushadhi drug Stores at all major Govt. hospitals with the support of the Concerned district administration and Medical Superintendents of the respective hospitals. To begin with, the goal is that all district Hospitals and Govt. Medical College, Srinagar/Jammu associated hospitals shall have one Jan Aushadhi Store each.

  • The state branch of Red Cross being the implementing agency in the state coordinates with the BPPI, through its representatives for smooth supplies to the Jan Aushadhi stores across the state.
  • The State branch also facilitates the proper monitoring of the stores through its District Red Cross units and the concerned hospital administration.
  • The state branch facilitates the supply of Jan Aushadhi Medicines to such Govt. hospitals in the state who place orders for these supplies.

5) Assessing the Quality and efficacy of the Jan Aushadhi Medicines:

Since the Jan Aushadhi Medicines are manufactured mainly by the Govt. of India Enterprises, these are stringently tested by the quality control departments of the said enterprises. In case some products are outsourced for production from any private companies, the outsourcing enterprise ensures that the manufacturing takes place in a GMP (WHO) certified company under their supervision. Besides, every batch manufactured through this process is got tested from the NABL (National accreditation board for testing and calibration). In addition to this, the hospital administration is also asked to get the products tests from their own sources-if they want to do so-before giving it out for the use of patients.