Affordable healthcare services are critical to ensuring that India survives the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition, the Government of India has introduced several schemes in recent years to make quality medical facilities available to the economically disadvantaged population.
The Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Kendra aims to reduce out-of-pocket expenses for all medicines, diagnostics, and other medical services. So, let us examine how PMJAY Kendra benefits Indians and is significant in 2021.
What exactly is the PM-JAY Kendra?
The scheme, which was launched in 2008, focuses on providing the following items at reasonable prices:
- Pharmaceutical medications
- Surgical supplies
- The PMJAY stores stock medicines and other medical supplies and sell them to beneficiaries at reduced prices.
In each of the 630 districts, the government plans to open at least one PMJAY Kendra. Affordable drug stores that are widely distributed can help the rural population and economically disadvantaged sections of society gain access to quality medicines at low prices.
PMJAY Kendra currently has over 6,300 outlets, over 900 medications, and 174 surgical items. Under the scheme, the government hopes to increase the number of medicines to 2000, stores to 10,000, and surgical consumables to 300 by 2024.
What is Jan Aushadi Kendras?
As part of the Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana, the Bureau of Pharma PSUs in India (BPPI) operates Jan Aushadhi Kendras. These are the locations where high-quality generic medications are made available to the public. Jan Aushadhi Kendras are located in 726 districts across the country.
During 2020-21, the turnover of Janaushadhi stores in the country will be around 600 crores. The total number of Kendra is now 7,500. The Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) product basket has grown from 131 products in 2014 to 1,449 medicines and 204 surgical items in 2018.
Important factors of PMBJP
- Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendras (PMBJK) are being established across the country under PMBJP to reduce out-of-pocket healthcare expenses.
- The Department of Pharmaceuticals’ Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India (BPPI) coordinates, procures, supplies, and markets generic medicines through PMBJK.
- Generic medicines are sold at prices that are 50% to 90% lower than market prices for branded medicines.
- All drugs purchased through this scheme are tested for quality assurance at NABL-accredited laboratories and meet WHO GMP (World Health Organization’s Good Manufacturing Practices) benchmarks. PMBJKs can be established with government grants of up to 2.5 lakhs.
- They can be established at any suitable location or outside the hospital premises by doctors, pharmacists, entrepreneurs, Self Help Groups, NGOs, Charitable Societies, and so on.
- The railway ministry has given preliminary approval to the establishment of Jan Aushadi Kendras at railway stations and other railway establishments run by the PMBJP. This is a significant step because access to generic medicines at railway stations would increase accessibility, affordability of essential medicines, and customer convenience.
The following are the benefits of PM Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendras:
- It will provide medicines at a much lower cost than the market. The government is constantly adding new medicines to this scheme in order to cover all medicines.
- With over 8000 stores across India, this scheme serves a large number of people and saves many lives every day.
- Individuals will be able to find work in these stores.
- It will save people money on expensive medicines; in the fiscal year 2021-22, this scheme will save approximately 4000 crores for Indian citizens.