- Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) is a campaign launched by the Department of Pharmaceuticals to provide quality medicines at affordable prices to the masses.
- In September 2015, an existing ‘Jan Aushadhi Scheme’ was revamped as ‘Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Yojana’ and in November, 2016, to give further impetus to the scheme, it was again renamed as “Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana”.
- PMBJP stores have been set up to provide generic drugs, which are available at lesser prices but are equivalent in quality and efficacy as expensive branded drugs.
- Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India (BPPI) is the implementing agency for PMBJP.
Objectives of PMBJP
- Making quality medicines available at affordable prices for all, particularly the poor and disadvantaged, through exclusive outlets “Jan Aushadhi Kendras”, to reduce out of pocket expenses in healthcare.
- Create awareness among the public regarding generic medicines.
- Create demand for generic medicines through medical practitioners.
- Create awareness through education and awareness programs that high price need not be synonymous with high quality.
Who can open a Jan Aushadhi Kendras?
- State Governments or any organization / reputed NGOs / Trusts / Private hospitals / Charitable institutions / Doctors / Unemployed pharmacists/ individual entrepreneurs are eligible to apply for new Jan Aushadhi stores.
- The applicants shall have to employ one B Pharma / D Pharma degree holder as Pharmacist in their proposed store.
- They can be set up at any suitable place within Government hospital or Private hospital premises or anywhere outside the premises.
Why in News?
- Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana has significantly reduced patients’ out-of-pocket expenditure. It has helped in savings of 18 thousand crore rupees for the citizens in the last 8 years.
- The scheme ensures easy reach of affordable quality medicines to the people in every nook and corner of the country. More than 8700 Jan Aushadhi stores have been opened across the country, covering almost every district.
- The government has set a target to increase the number of Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendras to ten thousand five hundred by the end of March 2025.
What are generic drugs?
- When a company develops a new drug — often after years of research — it applies for a patent, which prohibits anyone else from making the drug for a fixed period.
- To recover the cost of research and development, companies usually price their brand- name drugs on the higher side.
- Once the patent expires, other manufacturers duplicate and market their own versions of the drug.
Cost-effectiveness of generic medicines
- Since the manufacture of these generic drugs do not involve a repeat of the extensive clinical trials to prove their safety and efficacy, it costs less to develop them. Generic drugs are, therefore, cheaper.
- However, because the compounds in the generic versions have the same molecular structure as the brand-name version, they provide the same clinical benefits as its brand-name version. The generic drug has the same “active ingredient” as the brand-name drug. This ingredient is the one that cures the patient; and other, “inert ingredients”, which give the drug its colour, shape or taste, vary from the brand-name drug to the generics.
- In addition, multiple applications for generic drugs are often approved to market a single product; this creates competition in the marketplace, typically resulting in lower prices. Typically results in prices about 85% less than the brand-name.
- The Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India comprising all the Pharma CPSUs under the Department of Pharmaceuticals was established in 2008.
- It aims to bring about effective collaboration and cooperation in furthering the working and resources of these organizations.