India government is planning to supply cancer drugs at discounted rates to patients through public retail outlets meant for low-cost generics
The government will bring cancer drugs also under its nationwide programme of ‘Jan Aushadhi’ stores, reports said.
Increasing the medicine basket of Jan Aushadhi stores is the government’s priority and it was looking to bring cancer drugs under this programme, minister of state for chemicals and fertilisers ministry Srikant Kumar Jena was quoted as saying.
The department of pharmaceuticals is currently in the process of negotiating with pharma companies for procuring cancer medicines to be supplied through Jan Aushadhi stores.
The Jan Aushadi programme intends to supply around 300 drugs at nearly 50% of their MRP through retail shops set up for the purpose in all districts of India.
The ambitious Jan Aushadhi programme has been started by the government to ensure availability of medicines at low cost to the common man across the length and breadth of India
The chemicals and fertilizer ministry, under the government of India, which oversees the drug sector, was planning to supply unbranded generic versions of all essential medicines at a price about 50% less than they cost in the market through setting up a chain of round the clock retail outlets in all districts of the country.
The first of such Jan Aushadhi outlets was opened in Punjab in November 2008.
Under the scheme, the government provides the space needed to set up the medicine outlet free of cost, apart form a credit facility for medicines for 45 days, to a non-governmental organisation that will be responsible to run the shop.
Unbranded versions of generic medicines (sold under the chemical name), including popular antibiotics, pain-killers, cough and cold medication were to be sold at these ‘Jan Aushadhi’ stores.
The medicine for these retail outlets were to be sourced from the public sector drug manufacturers including Indian Drugs and Pharmaceuticals, Hindustan Antibiotics, Rajasthan Drugs and Pharmaceuticals and Bengal Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals.
Several of India’s big and medium drug makers also showed interest to supply medicines to Jan Aushadhi. The department of pharmaceuticals (DoP) has received more than 75 applications from domestic drug makers such as Ranbaxy and Dr Reddy’s who are interested in supplying generic medicines at a lower price to the generic drug stores, reports said.
The government wanted to provide all 350 essential drugs through these stores at around 75% of the price of branded medicines available in the market through Jan Aushadhi stores.