In a bid to make affordable medication accessible to more Indians, the government has announced that plans are underway to set up Jan Aushadhi stores in 1,000 railway stations across the country.
The Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi scheme was a programme launched by the Government of India to make quality medicines cheaper for those who can’t otherwise afford it. Under this scheme, generic drugs, which are far cheaper than the market prices for branded medicines, are sold to the public.
In simple terms, generic drugs are those medicines that are not branded but have the same efficacy as their branded counterparts.
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Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister Ananth Kumar has been quoted by the Economic Times as saying that he will be floating this idea to Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu. He says, “I am going to speak to Railways Minister Suresh Prahbu in the coming days to open Jan Aushadhi stores (JAS) in 1,000 main railway stations in the country.”
Additionally, the minister noted that plans are in the pipeline to set up more such stores in smaller towns as well as villages. He also said that he is working on making these stores more accessible by setting them up in bus stands. The goal is to have 3,000 JAS stores across the country by the end of the year and the government is projecting a turnover of ₹60 crore.
Under the JAS schemes drugs for various ailments, such as heart diseases, HIV, diabetes and blood pressure among others is made available for the masses at far cheaper rates than branded medication.
The government is also working to get doctors and hospitals to prescribe generic medication whenever the situation necessitates it. Launched by the Department of the Pharmaceuticals, the JAS scheme became functional in 2015.