PM is ‘single-handedly’ taking stress on all economic & social fronts like for Jan Aushadhi Pariyojna
Even after 14 years of launch Jan Aushadi Medicines have not taken even 0.5 pc of Pharma Market ?
Why so when Jan Aushadhi medicines bear very genuine price tags as compared to branded generic medicines?
Despite India being one of the leading exporters of generic medicines to the world, the majority of Indians have been lacking due and sufficient access to fairly priced allopathic medicines ( even which are patent free).Instead the branded generic medicines were being sold and are still being sold in India at highly / unreasonably inflated prices , as high as even 500 to 700 % more than there could be a fair price for a patent free drug with reasonable margin for the seller. Same drug (active ingredient) is sold by different pharma companies under different brand names even with inflated MRPs but even highest MRP marked drug is sold to the patients with the help of prescription writers in the absence of there being any effective implementation of the practice to write the prescription by generic name of drug even in government hospitals / institutions.
Branded Generic medicines/patent free were being sold and are still being sold in India at highly / unreasonably inflated prices , as high as even 4to8 times more than a possible fair price for a patent free drug ( (Amlodipine – 5mg Tab Jan Auashadi Rs.5/ 10 Tab, Amodep-5 Rs.15.55/14 Tab, Amlokind-5 Rs. 22.15/ 10 tab, Amanat- 5 Rs.22.37/10 tab , Amlip-5 Rs.24.97/10 tab, Amtas 5 Rs. 74.93/30 tab, Amlovas 5 Rs.37.46/15 Tab, Mold 5mg Rs.39/10 Tab,Samloday 5 mg Rs.53.56/10 Tab ,Espin-5 Rs.66.50/10 Tab ). Medicines if prescribed under generic/ technical name/ chemical name would make the manufacturers of a medicine using same technical grade material to mark their drug with a competitive MRP which most of them generally do not do when they market with a brand name with the assistance of the ‘Prescription Writer’. Unfairly marked MRP fleece all of the society , whether rich or poor, ofcourse the rich may be able to bear the burnt and the economically weaker / poor may be further crushed or may ‘skip’ taking timely treatment. No doubt with coming up of Jan Aushadhi some manufacturers have either brought down their branded product MRP or atleast they have not increased further but that is too less an achievement for a 15 yr old Pariyojna.
No doubt there has been some increase in the sale of ‘generic’ medicines after BPPI/ Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Bureau of India ( PMBI) was given the work of making available ‘patent’ free technical grade drugs labelled with fairly decided MRPs through Jan Aushadhi outlets in late 2008.
But looking at the facts like (i) that the JA generic drugs are genuinely priced much lower than those sold under brand names by private companies (ii) the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Bureau of India ( PMBI) provides financial cost & infrastructure support to those who take to starting such shops/ Kendras the sales have been very much frustrating. Had the Member Pharma PSEs of BPPI/PMBI , the Administration in Health & Medical Education Departments and political masters worked even ‘a quarter’ as committedly as Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been working on day basis after 2016 for promoting Jan Aushadhi drugs surely a few lakhs of crores of people of India would have been saved from draining out into the ‘pockets’ of those in unfair trade. For instance prescription writing has to be enforced by Health administration and Modi has to come and enforce it.
Imagine how many shops of medicines may be there in a country like India having 6,50,000 or so villages where the patent free / generic drugs may under brand names may be being sold with unreasonably inflated MRPs but still Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Bureau of India ( PMBI) has set a Target for opening only 10,500 PMBJP Kendras in India upto March, 2025 for a programme of such a high public interest economic welfare which can benefit all segments of society without any financial burden on government & additionally bringing fortunes to sick Central Government Public sector Enterprises that are part of Pharmaceuticals & Medical Devices Bureau of India ( PMBI).
Surely Prime Minister is not being provided real feedback on ground situations and it appears he is ‘single handedly’ taking stresses on all economic & social fronts. Even after 2016 when PM has been taking the JA programme like his very very personal ‘child’ and working hard to promote it all these 7 years the people below have surely not worked truthfully and a few lakhs of crores of INR have been fleeced from the patients. Even seven years is too much of period.On the initiated of Prime Minister of India that since 2019 now the 7th March has been declared as Jan Aushadhi Diwas
No doubt people have started knowing about this programme, people know it as only PM Modi’s programme, very less people may be able to tell the name of Dr Min Health and Family Welfare (Mansukh Mandaviya) and MOS Chemical & Fertilizers and New & Renewable energy(Bhagwanth Khuba ) who are the concerned ministers.
There is immediate need for examining the reasons for such a good public interest programme ( in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi is taking so much intimate interest ) is taking off so slowly.
There is need to even recast the promotional slogans and explanations like (i) providing quality generic medicines at an affordable price which should be something like “providing prices at genuine prices” (ii) 5th Jan Aushadhi Divas was “celebrated” in 2023 on 7th March (observing 1st to 7th March as Jan Aushadhi week) with the theme of ” Jan Aushadhi sastibhiachchibhi”(‘”tu vkS”kf/k lLrh Hkh vPNh Hkh'”) where as better it would be to say “Jan Aushadhi kisi se kamnahin aur uchchitkeemat par bhi” (“tu vkS”kf/k fdlh ls de ugha vkSj mfpr dher ij Hkh gS”)
(The author is Sr Journalist, social activist and analyst J&K affairs [email protected]).