Govt. drugstores to sell nutraceuticals

March 14, 2022 12:00 am | Updated 05:42 am IST - NEW DELHI

Currently, there are 8,675 PMBJP Kendras operational across the country

PMBJP Kendras currently offer a product basket of 1,451 drugs.M. Srinath

PMBJP Kendras currently offer a product basket of 1,451 drugs.M. Srinath

Aimed at providing accessible, standardised and affordable generic medicines, the Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) Kendras, which currently offer a product basket of 1,451 drugs and 240 surgical instruments, have added nutraceuticals products, including protein powder and bar, malt-based food supplements and immunity bar for its customers.

Currently, 8,675 PMBJP Kendras function in districts across the country with three IT-enabled warehouses in Gurugram, Chennai and Guwahati and another one ready to start operations in Surat.

The government has set a target to increase their number to 10,500 by the end of March 2025, along with six warehouses.

Further, 39 distributors have been appointed across the country to support the supply of medicines to remote and rural areas, said an official at the Union Chemicals and Fertilizers Ministry.

Cheaper rates

“Point-of-sale application for value-added services has been implemented by the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Bureau of India (PMBI) to monitor end-to-end supply chain management system. All warehouses have SAP-based inventory management system and the demand forecasting is done through the said system so as to place orders as per the desired inventory levels,” he added.

Under the PMBJP being implemented by the Department of Pharmaceuticals, a medicine is priced on the principle of maximum of 50% of the average price of the top three brands of the said medicine. Thus, the prices of Jan Aushadhi medicines are cheaper at least by 50% and in some cases, by 80% to 90% of the market price of the branded medicines.

In India, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority under the Department of Pharmaceuticals regulates the prices of all drugs, whether branded or generic. While it fixes the ceiling price of scheduled medicines specified in the first schedule of the Drugs (Prices Control) Order, 2013, in case of non-scheduled medicines, the manufactures are free to fix the maximum retail price (MRP) of the drug.

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