Staff Reporter

Orissa becomes the first State in eastern India to launch Jan Aushadhi campaign

Plan to open more such stores

India is the biggest exporter of generic medicines, says Union Minister

BHUBANESWAR: Jan Aushadhi, a campaign to provide quality generic medicines at affordable prices to all, was launched in the State with opening of three stores in and around the capital city on Saturday.

Jan Aushadhi stores were inaugurated by Srikant Kumar Jena, Union Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilizers and Prasanna Acharya, Orissa Minister for Health and Family Welfare on the campus of Capital Hospital, Red Cross Bhawan and District Headquarters Hospital, Khorda.

The campaign is being implemented with the help of Pharma Central Public Sector Units (CPSUs) such as Indian Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Limited, Hindustan Antibiotics Limited, Karnataka Antibiotics and Pharmaceutical Limited, Bengal Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Limited and Rajasthan Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Limited in collaboration with the State Health and Family Welfare Department.

Addressing a press conference, Mr. Jena said Orissa became the first State in eastern India and fifth in the country to have stores selling generic medicines. While all districts of Punjab have been covered with Jan Aushadhi stores, Rajasthan had already 30 such stores, he said

So far 222 generic medicines were available in Indian market and under the Jan Aushadhi campaign, stores would be opened in all 626 district headquarters hospitals across India, Mr. Jena said.

For every store, the government would be initially paying Rs. 2 lakhs as one-time grant and Rs. 50,000 as recurring expenses.

The government roped in Indian Red Cross for opening these stores and later bonafide NGOs could also run such stores.

Pointing out that India was the biggest exporter of generic medicines worth Rs. 50000 crore annually, the Union Minister said India was going to be benefited immensely due to off-patenting of drugs in United States that had market worth 300 billion dollar.

Mr. Acharya said the State was planning to open three more stores at Angul, Dhenkanal and Jeypore immediately.

“We will motivate doctors to prescribe generic medicines so that people could take advantage of drugs at cheaper price,” he said.

Big plans

Mr. Acharya said the State government was contemplating procuring generic medicines in huge volumes for its hospital.

It was estimated that the State government purchases drugs worth Rs. 20 crores for consumption in government-run health institutions.

However, drugs worth Rs. 800 crores were transacted within the State annually.

The Union Minister said the launching of campaign would bring about a sea change in drug market and availability of low-cost medicines would compel big medicine companies to lower their prices.