The Pharmaceutical Policy as amended from time to time also envisages making available quality medicines at affordable price to the masses. For fulfilment of this goal, a Campaign in the name of ‘Jan Aushadhi’ has been 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. Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has informed that they have taken the initiative for Free Supply of Essential Medicines in Public Health Facilities in the country. Some of the salient features of this scheme is as under:
• Government proposes to start an Initiative for Free Supply of Essential Medicines in Public Health Facilities in the country aiming to provide affordable health care to the people by reducing out of pocket expenses of medicines.
• The initiative aims to increase share of public health in health care from a current level of 25-30% to around 50%.
• This initiative will promote rational use of medicines and reduce the consumption of inessential, unscientific and hazardous medicines.
• The 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.
• An MoU would be signed with the States which will involve the following:-
o State would be encouraged 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 shall be issued to Medical Officers in Public Health facilities to prescribe generic medicines.
o The drugs would be supplied by the district ware houses through an IT enabled supply chain management system.
o States will involve Rogi Kalyan Samitis to ensure that free supply of medicines in public health facilities is properly and effectively implemented.
This information was given by the Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilisers, Shri Srikant Kumar Jena in a written reply in the Lok Sabha