Calling upon doctors, health workers and ASHAs to promote the use of generic drugs, Union Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilizers Bhagwanth Khuba said here on Friday that these drugs greatly reduce the cost of medicine for people.
Speaking at the Janaushadhi Mitra Sammelan, Mr. Khuba said that 145 generic medicines are available at the Janaushadi Kendras and these drugs are sold at a cost that is less than 70% to 90% of the cost of branded drugs. “By making generic drugs available at affordable cost, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has helped people save cost on medicine to a great extent,” he said.
Citing an instance, Mr. Khuba said that the branded Atorvastatin drug, which is prescribed to lower cholesterol, costs ₹12 per tablet, while the same medicine is available at 0.98 paise in a generic drug store.
The Union Minister of State urged government and private doctors to prescribe more generic drugs. He said that anganwadi workers and ANMs should make doctors and people aware of generic medicine. He also called upon Janaushadhi kendra operators to carry out activities to make people aware of availability of drugs for blood pressure, diabetes and chronic diseases, which are regularly consumed by several people.
During the interaction with Mr. Khuba, some of the representatives of the 82 Jananushadhi Kendra in Dakshina Kannada pointed out at the poor quality of some of the drugs that are being supplied. Another kendra operator spoke about the problem in getting Suvidha Sanitary Napkin priced ₹1, for which there is a good demand. A doctor, who has a Janaushadhi Kendra near his hospital in Puttur, expressed the need for more essential drugs at the kendras.
Mr. Khuba said that the Ministry is taking steps to address issues related to quality and supply of medicines. “It is an ongoing process and we are addressing your concerns. We earnestly believe in making available quality essential drugs to people,” he said. Changes are being made to the Janushadhi Sugam app to give a clear idea to people about drugs available at the kendras, he said.
Member of Parliament Nalin Kumar Kateel and Mangaluru City South MLA D. Vedavyas Kamath spoke.
Mr. Khubha and Mr. Kateel presented Janaushadhi Prabhuddi Award to the Udupi district administration as the district stands first among the districts in Karnataka in terms of generic medicine sales. The two also gave away Janaushadhi Mitra awards to seven people, including three doctors, for promotion of Janaushadhi Kendras.