“You are my family and your ailments are ailments of my family members, that’s why I want all my countrymen to stay healthy. Janaushadi scheme relieved the poor of high medical expenses’’, said Prime Minister while interacting with beneficiaries of PMBJP as part of his address on “Janaushidi diwas’’ celebration last year on 07 March 2021.
India is developing nation, and around 40% of Indian live on less than Rs 72 per day as per data available and healthcare is one of the major area of expenses. According to WHO reports, nearly half of the world’s population is deprived of standard health coverage. More than 95 million are poverty-ridden due to their medical bill and almost 800 million use most of their household budget on medicine including from India. Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jaanaushadi Pariyojana (PMBJP) is a way forward to provide quality medicine at affordable price to one and all.
Overview of Scheme
Jan Aushadi Scheme was launched by the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers, Government of India in Nov’2008. The government revamped the “Jan Aushadi Scheme” in September 2015 as Pradhan Mantri Janaushadi Yojana (PMJAY). To give further impetus to the scheme, it is again renamed as Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadi Pariyojana (PMBJP). Till 31st January 2022, 8675 PMBJP kendras are functional across the country.
Objectives of PMBJP
Objective of scheme is to make available quality medicine, consumables and surgical items at affordable prices for all and reduce out of pocket expenditure of consumers/ patients. Moreover to popularize generic medicine among the masses and dispel the prevalent notion that low priced generic medicines are of inferior quality or are less effective. Employment generation is another positive takeaway of scheme.
Implementing Agency & Salient Features of PMBJP
Pharmaceuticals & Medical devices Bureau of India (PMBI), an independent society governed by governing council (GC) headed by secretary, department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of chemicals & fertilizers is implementing agency. PMBJP has been approved for continuation for period 2020-2021 to 2024-2025 with target to open 10,500 PMBJP kendras all over the country by march 2025. Kendra owners are provided with incentives & also one-time special grant is given for procuring furniture & I.T. equipments. 7th March is being celebrated as Jan Aushidi Diwas each year.
PMBJP’s Product Basket & Price Benefits
PMBJP’s product basket comprises of about 1400 medicines, thereby covering major therapeutic groups like anti diabetics, cardiovascular drugs, anti-cancer, Analgesic & Antipyretic , Anti allergic, gastro-intestinal agents, vitamins neutraceuticals etc. Also about 240 surgical and consumables are also covered which include masks, orthopaedic rehabilitation products, surgical dressings, syringes & needles, sanitary napkins, sutures, diapers etc.
Procurement of Janaushadi products and Quality assurance
Procurement of products is executed through e-tender portal (CPPP) of Govt of India. SAP based inventory management is followed. System of blacklisting/debarring vendors/ supplier/manufacturers for failure in supply & penalty for late delivery is in place. Categorization of vendors/ suppliers/manufacturers is based on performance. As per the quality of medicine is concerned, two tier quality assurance is maintained by procuring medicines only from WHO-GMP certified companies and testing through laboratories accredited by NABL.
PMBJP’s & UT of J&K
We all know J&K is a consumer society and out of pocket expenses of each household are quite high when it comes to purchase of medicines. I sincerely feel answer lies with Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaaushidi Pariyojana (PMBJP). Recently government revised guidelines for establishment of Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan aushadi Kendras (PMBJKs) in the UT of J&K with objective of easing out process and thereby extending the benefits of scheme to all patients across length & breadth of department. Moreover to popularise scheme, government conducted seminars and awareness camps across UT of J&K during recent past. As of today many kendras are running successfully in UT of J&K in both private & government set up. We as the stake holders of society like prescribers/physicians, regulators, health authorities & consumers/ have this pledge among ourselves to make this scheme a success for greater good of society.
The scheme is doing justice to its tagline “ JANAUSHADI-SEVA BHI, ROZGAR BHI” by providing medicines to common citizens of the country at a price cheaper by 50% to 90% of average market price, at the same time providing self employment with sustainable and regular earnings to unemployed youth.
(The Author is working as Drug Control Officer, Drug & Food Control Organization (J&K). The Author has done Masters in Pharmacy)