The Centre will sign MoUs with the states for free supply of essential medicines in public health facilities, procured directly from the manufacturers
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare introduced new schemes for life saving drugs under the campaign ‘Jan Aushadhi’ in the Parliament. They have taken the initiative for Free Supply of Essential Medicines in Public Health Facilities in the country.
A campaign in the name of ‘Jan Aushadhi’ was launched in 2008. The aim of this campaign is to make available quality medicines at affordable prices for all, especially the poor and the disadvantaged. Under this campaign, less priced quality unbranded generic medicines will be made available through ‘Jan Aushadhi’ stores which inherently are less priced but are of same and equivalent quality, efficacy and safety as compared to branded generic medicines.
The pharmaceutical policy as amended from time to time also envisages making available quality medicines at affordable price to the masses. The aim is to provide affordable healthcare to the people by reducing out of pocket expenses of medicines. The initiative aims to increase share of public health in healthcare from a current level of 25-30 per cent to around 50 per cent. This initiative will promote rational use of medicines and reduce the consumption of inessential, unscientific and hazardous medicines.
This initiative is based on the Tamil Nadu model where free medicines procured in bulk by the Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation (TNMSC), in generic name, directly from the manufacturers is supplied through an IT-enabled supply chain management system to the public.
During the session, the minister also proposed to sign MoUs with the states, which will encourage the states to set up TNMSC like institutions or use any existing institution with sufficient autonomy for bulk procurement of essential drugs in generic names directly from the manufacturers in generic names. Strict instructions will be issued to the medical officers in public health facilities to prescribe generic medicines.
The drugs would be supplied by the district warehouses through an IT-enabled supply chain management system. Also, states will involve Rogi Kalyan Samitis to ensure that free supply of medicines in public health facilities is properly and effectively implemented.