Prime Minister Narendra Modi will interact with the owners of 5,050 Janaushadhi generic drug stores spread across 652 districts of the country through a video conference on March 7. The beneficiaries of the stores set up under the Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) are also expected to join the interaction.
According to Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister of State for Chemicals & Fertilisers, Road Transport & Highways, Shipping, March 7 will be observed as Janaushadhi Divas across India to provide create awareness and provide further impetus to the scheme. The government plans to have at least one PMBJP Kendra in each block by 2020, the minister said.
"With more and more doctors prescribing generic medicines and opening of over 5050 Janaushadhi stores across 652 districts, awareness and availability of high quality affordable generic medicines has increased in the country. About 10-15 lakh people benefit from Janaushadhi medicines per day and the market share of generic medicines has grown over three fold from 2 per cent to 7 per cent in last 3 years," the minister said.
Addressing a press conference in Delhi on Wednesday, Mandaviya said that Janaushadhi medicines have played a big role in bringing down the out of pocket expenditure of patients suffering from life threatening diseases in India. "The PMBJP scheme has led to total savings of approximately Rs.1000 crores for common citizens, as these medicines are cheaper by 50 per cent to 90 per cent of average market price," he claimed.
"PMBJP is also providing a good source of self-employment with self-sustainable and regular earnings. Average sales per store per month has grown to Rs 1.50 lakh (including OTC & other products)," said Sachin Kumar Singh, CEO, Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India (BPPI), the agency that implements PMBJP.
BPPI has four warehouses in Delhi, Guwahati, Bengaluru and Chennai to ensure adequate availability of Janaushadhi medicines at all PMBJP kendras, Singh informed.
The products available at these stores include Jan Aushadhi Suvidha Oxo-Biodegradable Sanitary Napkins at Rs. 2.50 per piece, JanAushahi Swabhiman at Rs. 140 for a pack of 5 Adult Diapers, Jan Aushahdi Bachpan at Rs 20 only for a pack of 5 baby diapers, Jan Aushadhi Ankur pregnancy test kits at Rs 20, Jan Aushadhi Urja Energy Drink at Rs. 35 for 300 gm pack, among others.
J.P. Prakash, secretary pharmaceuticals, said the Janaushadhi Diwas will see doctors, health experts, NGOs and beneficiaries spreading awareness about the scheme to common masses.