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Times of India
05 August 2010
Chandigarh, India

Even as the Jan Aushadhi store in Panchkula’s Sector 6 General Hospital has found few takers in the Tricity, UT administration is trying its best to make these subsidized drug stores popular among the patients by opening another outlet at the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, on Wednesday. The drug store will offer generic (non–branded) medicines, which will cost 75% less than the retail price of branded drugs. One such store is already operating from PGI, Chandigarh. Apprehensive about patients’ response, a doctor working with GMCH stated, “The success of this store depends on doctor’s prescription.”

“Though instructions have been issued to doctors working with PGI and GMCH to give preference to these generic medicines, one cannot force the staff to do the same. We will pass on a circular to prescribe these medicines during OPDs. However, we cannot force the doctors,” Vipin Kaushal, medical superintendent, GMCH, stated.

Significantly, the drug store has been opened as part of the Jan Aushadhi campaign initiated by the Government of India for making quality medicines available to all at affordable prices. The project is an initiative of the department of pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, Government of India, and is being coordinated by the Bureau of Pharma Public Sector Undertakings of India, which is the main supplier of drugs sold under the project.

At present, branded medicines are being sold by drug manufacturers at higher prices as compared to their unbranded generic equivalents, which are as good in therapeutic value.

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