Jan Aushadhi-Will It Change India’s Pharma And Health Sector?

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Jan Aushadhi-Will It Change India’s Pharma And Health Sector?

Hello people!

India’s pharma sector has risen from a Rs. 1,500 crores industry in 1980 to a Rs. 1,19,000 crores industry in 2012. Now I call that awesome progress! Our country has been strongly capable in producing medicines in different therapeutic categories. Though these medicines are priced in a reasonable manner when compared to other countries, they can’t be afforded by the poor citizens of the country.

The ‘Jan Aushadhi’ campaign

Jan Aushadhi-Will It Change India's Pharma And Health Sector

The present aim of the government is to ensure that quality medicines are available at affordable prices to all the citizens of the country. To do so, a ‘Jan Aushadhi campaign’ has been launched by the government in which the government is all set to launch its own brand in order to sell generic medicines at a low cost. You can simply walk up to a medical store and ask for your medicines under the ‘Jan Aushadhi’ brand from July 1.

The government will procure bulk amount of medicines from private and public drug manufacturing companies and will rebrand them as ‘Jan Aushadhi’. These will then be made available in the retail market at a very competitive price. This way, consumers can buy a cheaper but quality product from the government.

The government has zeroed in on 504 essential medicines that includes painkillers, antibiotics, vitamins and medicines used to treat diabetes, respiratory, cardiovascular and gastroenterology diseases. Officials say that in the first phase, medicines have been identified from the top 100 drugs that are sold the most. More number of medicines and medical devices will be added in the second phase of the campaign. In phase 1, the medicines will be made available to 800 chemists in Delhi. There are also plans to cover the metro cities by the year end.

The scenario of the Indian pharmaceutical retail market is such that it is dominated by branded products, unlike the developed drug retail markets like the US and Europe. There are a very few patented medicines sold in India and most of the medicines available at medical stores are branded ones sold by private companies.

Changing the current scenario

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In order to create brands, pharmaceutical companies spend a large amount. These brands are often pushed through doctors and chemists as prescription based medicines can’t be advertised. Consumers are left with no other choice when it comes to purchasing medicines as they have to completely rely on the doctor’s prescription or on the chemists. The latest move made by the government will provide an umbrella brand for generic drugs and will enable consumers make the choice that they have not been able to make so far.

Though the step is good, there are concerns whether the centre will be capable of monitoring and maintaining the quality of all the products sold under ‘Jan Aushadhi’ brand. This concern has been raised as the medicines are going to be procured from different firms. According to government officials, procurement norms and sampling will make sure that there is quality control.

Pharmaceutical firms have been consulted to make sure that there is adequate and regular supply of medicines. Even the doctor fraternity have also examined the proposal. The Medical council of India and the Indian Medical Association have also been asked to come on board to make sure that doctors prescribe Jan Aushadhi drugs.

The government was initially apprehensive that doctors would not support the move but they seem to provide full support if the quality of the medicines is maintained. As soon as the brand will launched the government will be making it compulsory for public hospitals to prescribe it.

This is a very good step towards the progress of the healthcare sector. This will help people in having access to good quality medicines at a cheaper price. It is a welcome move for the common man and will have a positive impact on his monthly budget. The pharmaceutical companies from whom the medicines will be procured by the government will also get benefited.

Take care!

xoxo

Tarun

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