By Express News Service
BENGALURU : In all, 8,361 Jan Aushadi Kendras have been set up till date that provide good quality medicines to the poor at affordable prices, said Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, here on Sunday.
At an event, ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’, organised by the Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices Bureau of India, which falls under the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Central Government, he said that prices of medicines at these Kendras are 50-90 per cent lower than that of branded drugs in the open market.
The scheme was launched in 2008 and reinvented in 2013. The number of people consuming generic medicines has increased from 2 per cent to 10 per cent in the country, he said. A generic drug is the same as a branded drug in terms of dosage, safety, efficacy, route of administration, quality and performance.
“The rich can afford treatment easily, but the poor cannot purchase medicines that run into thousands of rupees. Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision, these Kendras were improved to give patients lifelong medications for diseases such as BP, diabetes and cancer,” he said.
Opening these centres is a business opportunity and a way to serve the poor as well. The store owners get a commission of 20 per cent and financial assistance of Rs 3 lakh to set up the shop.
The incentive provided to Kendra owners has been enhanced to Rs 5 lakh to be given at 15 per cent of monthly purchases made, subject to a ceiling of Rs 15,000 per month. “These norms are in place so that the centre does not shut down due to poor profit margin,” said Mandaviya.
Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said there are 62 Jan Aushadi Kendra in MP Tejasvi Surya’s Bengaluru South constituency that will be increased to 100. MLA Ravi Subramanya said the scheme was the goal of former Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertilisers Ananth Kumar.
Senior citizens were given health kits at the event and Jan Aushadi Mitras were felicitated. These Mitras deliver medicines at people’s doorsteps.