Government to extend Jan Aushadhi - Fusion - WeRIndia

Government to extend Jan Aushadhi Scheme

Government to extend Jan Aushadhi Scheme

The Jan Aushadhi scheme by the government is all set to expand furthermore. With this expansion, it will offer 439 life-saving medicines at 40-50 percent discount. These medicine include life-saving cancer and cardiovascular drugs. It will also offer discount on 250 medical devices like stents and implants.

It is planned by the department of pharmaceuticals to open 300 Jan Aushadhi stores all over the country by March. It is also planned to increase this number to 3000 by 2017. At present there are only 121 stores which offer discount 45 medicines.

The plan to extend this program has been done under the supervision of the Prime Minister’s Office itself. According to a government official, the government is worried about the high and unaffordable prices of medicines to treat critical diseases like cancer, diabetes and several heart conditions. The official added that with this scheme, the prices of many additional medicines can be reduced without using any price regulation.

The government already made plans to start this scheme. Tenders have been floated in a bid to get the plan started. Currently, the pharmaceutical retail market is pegged at 099,000 crore annually. The sector is mainly dominated by generic branded products.

Though the government caps prices of 348 essential medicines, new brands and alternatives with better efficacy are launched frequently and continue to be outside price control.

The government is trying to get medicines in bulk from the companies by opening Jan Aushadi stores on a large scale. The government will be able to get the medicines at a discounted price which enables them to pass it to the customers.

The problem with imposing price controls is that it may not be effective if the monitoring mechanism is weak and if the cap is not in sync with market mechanism. Due to the administrative costs that come with price control, it won’t be effective.

Image Credit: Photo by Laurynas Mereckas on Unsplash (Free for commercial use)

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