In a country as diverse and populous as India, ensuring access to affordable and quality healthcare for all citizens is a significant challenge. Recognizing the importance of making essential medicines accessible to every stratum of society, the Government of India launched the Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) in 2008. This ambitious initiative aims to provide affordable generic medicines to the masses, thus promoting healthcare inclusivity and affordability.
In September 2015, the ‘Jan Aushadhi Scheme‘ was revamped as ‘Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Yojana‘ (PMJAY). In November, 2016, to give further impetus to the scheme, it was again renamed as “Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana” (PMBJP).
Tag line: “Jan Aushadhi – Seva bhi, Rozgar bhi”.
Objectives of PMBJP:
Affordable Medicines: One of the primary objectives of PMBJP is to make high-quality generic medicines available at affordable prices. By promoting generic drugs, which are equivalent in efficacy and safety to their branded counterparts, the initiative seeks to reduce the financial burden on patients.
Quality Assurance: The program emphasizes the quality of medicines by ensuring that all drugs available under PMBJP adhere to stringent quality standards. This not only instills confidence in consumers but also addresses concerns related to the efficacy and safety of generic medications.
Extending Access: PMBJP aims to establish a robust network of Jan Aushadhi Kendras (JAKs) across the country. These Kendras serve as distribution points for generic medicines, making them easily accessible to people in both urban and rural areas.
Key Components of PMBJP:
Jan Aushadhi Kendras (JAKs): These are the cornerstone of PMBJP, acting as retail outlets for generic medicines. JAKs are established in collaboration with entrepreneurs, NGOs, and institutions to create a widespread and efficient distribution network.
Product Basket: PMBJP offers a comprehensive basket of medicines covering various therapeutic categories. From antibiotics to chronic disease medications, the initiative ensures that a diverse range of essential drugs is available at JAKs.
Quality Control: To address concerns about the quality of generic medicines, PMBJP follows strict quality control measures. Medicines available under this scheme undergo thorough testing and adhere to the standards set by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Price Regulation: Pricing is a crucial aspect of PMBJP. By capping the prices of generic medicines, the initiative prevents the exploitation of consumers and ensures that essential drugs remain affordable for the masses.
Success and Impact:
.As on 31.03.2023, 9303 Janaushadhi Kendras are functional across the country. Product basket of PMBJP comprises 1800 drugs and 285 surgical items. The Scheme is implemented by a society registered under the Societies Registration Act, viz., Pharma & Medical Bureau of India (PMBI) [erstwhile Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India (BPPI)].
Since its inception, PMBJP has made significant strides in achieving its objectives. The establishment of numerous Jan Aushadhi Kendras has expanded access to affordable medicines, especially in rural and economically disadvantaged areas. The initiative has not only reduced the financial burden on patients but has also contributed to a more equitable healthcare system.
Moreover, PMBJP has played a crucial role in promoting the use of generic medicines, dispelling myths and misconceptions surrounding their efficacy. This shift has not only benefited patients but has also contributed to the overall sustainability of the healthcare system.
The Scheme is operated by government agencies as well as by private entrepreneurs:
- 1. The incentive provided to the Kendra owners has been enhanced from existing Rs. 2.50 lakh to up to Rs. 5.00 lakh to be given @ 15% of monthly purchases made, subject to a ceiling of Rs. 15,000/- per month.
- 2. One-time incentive of Rs. 2.00 lakh is to be provided for furniture & fixtures and computer & printers to the PMBJP Kendras opened in North-Eastern States, Himalayan areas, Island territories and backward areas mentioned as aspirational district by NITI Aayog or opened by women entrepreneur, Divyang, SCs & STs and Ex-servicemen.
- 3. Prices of the Jan Aushadhi medicines are 50%-90% less than that of branded medicines prices in the open market.
- 4. Medicines are procured only from World Health Organization – Good Manufacturing Practices (WHO-GMP) certified suppliers for ensuring the quality of the products.
- 5. Each batch of drug is tested at laboratories accredited by ‘National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL)’ for ensuring best quality.
Challenges and the Way Forward:
While PMBJP has achieved considerable success, challenges persist. Ensuring the sustained availability of a wide range of medicines and expanding the reach of Jan Aushadhi Kendras to remote areas remain ongoing challenges. Continued efforts in collaboration with various stakeholders, including the private sector and healthcare professionals, are crucial for the program’s success.
Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana is a commendable initiative that addresses the critical issue of healthcare affordability in India. By providing access to quality generic medicines at affordable prices, PMBJP is contributing to the realization of the vision of “Health for All” and fostering a healthier and more equitable society.
You can find many articles on HEALTH(part of GS II) in our website. Go through these articles share with your friends and post your views in comment section.