- With an objective of making quality generic medicines available at affordable prices to all, Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) was launched by the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers in 2008.
- Under the scheme, dedicated outlets known as Janaushadhi Kendras are opened to provide generic medicines at affordable prices.
- The Scheme is implemented by a society registered under the Societies Registration Act, viz., Pharma & Medical Bureau of India (PMBI).
- The Scheme is operated by government agencies as well as by private entrepreneurs.
- Ensure access to quality medicines for all sections of the population especially the poor and the deprived ones. Prices of the Jan Aushadhi medicines are 50%-90% less than that of branded medicines prices in the open market.
- Create awareness about generic medicines through education and publicity to counter the perception that quality is synonymous with high price only.
- Generate employment by engaging individual entrepreneurs in opening of PMBJP Kendra.
Why in News?
- The government has decided to allow two thousand Primary Agricultural Credit Societies PACS to open Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Kendras across the country.
- A Primary Agricultural Credit Society is a basic unit and smallest co-operative credit institutions in India. It works on the grassroots level.
- Two thousand PACS across the country will be identified to open Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Kendras. This important decision will not only increase the income of PACS and create employment opportunities but will also make medicines available at affordable prices to the people, especially those living in rural areas.
- More than nine thousand 400 Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Kendras have been opened across the country till now. Medicines at Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Kendras are available at 50 percent to 90 percent lesser rate in comparison to the branded medicines.
- The Eligibility Criteria for the Individual applicants to open Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Kendra is to have D. Pharma or B. Pharma. Any organization, NGO, charitable organization and hospital can apply for this by appointing B.Pharma or D.Pharma degree holders.
- The incentive amount for Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Kendra is five lakh rupees, 15 percent of monthly purchases or a maximum of 15 thousand rupees per month. One time additional incentive of two lakh rupees as reimbursement for IT and infra expenditure in special categories and areas is also provided.
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.