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The Economic Times
27 January 2009
New Delhi, India

The Central government’s move to set up generic drug stores (Jan Aushadhi Stores) in each district of the country to make quality medicines available at affordable prices has got many takers. The project has received good response from several NGOs, public health groups and other organisations from across the country, an official in the department of pharmaceuticals said.

The government had last month invited NGOs, charitable societies, hospitals and other organisations to run the generic drug stores on not–for–profit basis. According to the official, the department has received a good number of applications from NGOs across the country.

The government’s initiative is in line with UPA’s Common Minimum Programme agenda to provide affordable medicines to all.

Generic drugs are medicines marketed without a brand name. However, they are identical to their branded counterpart in terms of dose, strength, route of administration, safety, efficacy, and intended use.

The government has already launched the project on November 25 last year when it opened a Jan Aushadhi store at Amritsar in Punjab. The second store will be launched at Shastri Bhawan in Delhi on February 2 while the third store will be launched in Gurgaon on February 4. Others in line are Mohali and Panchkula which will be opened on February 11.

Apart from Punjab, several other states have also shown keen interest in the project and have approached the nodal agency IDPL to open the stores with a proposal to provide the required space in major government hospitals.

At a time when the prices of medicines are increasingly becoming out of the reach of poorer sections of the society, the Jan Aushadhi Stores will prove to be a boon to them as by establishing these generic stores in each district, preferably in the premises of the district hospitals, the government wanted to ensure affordable medicines to the poor people.

Once implemented according to the prices suggested by the government, the treatment cost is to come down drastically.

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