The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), which wants to establish Janaushadi Kendras (generic drug stores) in all primary health centres (PHCs) under its purview, is working towards easing the terms and conditions after expression of interest (EoI) received a lukewarm response.
Civic officials are hoping that the new conditions will generate interest from non-governmental organisations, private companies under the corporate social responsibility, and unemployed pharmacists.
The civic body had earlier floated an EoI for establishing these stores in the PHCs. However, with stringent terms and conditions in place, the response to the EoI was lukewarm.
Senior officials said Minister for Higher Education and Malleswaram MLA C.N. Ashwathnarayan had then suggested they simplify the terms and conditions.
With the relaxed terms and conditions, the civic body is hoping for a better response to the second EoI. “The new EoI will be floated in 15 days. Under the new terms and conditions, the BBMP will provide the space for the Janaushadi Kendra for free. Those selected will have to operate the stores and help the needy coming to the PHCs,” said a BBMP official.
Senior civic officials told The Hindu that the primary objective of establishing the Janaushadi Kendras was to ensure that people coming to PHCs are able to buy medicines at a lower cost. The cost of generic medicines is noticeably lower than their branded counterparts. “Most people who come to PHCs for treatment are from lower socio-economic groups. While we provide most medicines to the needy, we are not able to do this for all medical conditions. Such patients are forced to go to pharmacies and drug stores,” an official explained and said that if Janaushadi Kendras were set up in each PHC, this problem could easily be overcome.
While there are 141 PHCs in the city, the BBMP is looking to establish another 57 in the remaining wards.