This article covers “Daily Current Affairs” and the topic details the launch of the Jan Aushadhi train by the Government. The train aims to reach remote locations and provide quality medicines at affordable prices. The high prices of medicine prompted the government to launch Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Pariyojana which aims to fulfill the above objective.

For Prelims:
Features of the Jan Aushadhi train initiative
Features of Pradhan Mantri – Jan Aushadhi Pariyojana
Target beneficiaries of the scheme
Ministry implementing the scheme

For Mains: GS 2, Government Policies and Interventions for Development in various sectors and Issues arising out of their Design and Implementation.
Aims and Objectives behind the launch of the initiative
Issues related to the implementation of the Pradhan Mantri – Jan Aushadhi Pariyojana
Solutions for successful implementation of the Pradhan Mantri – Jan Aushadhi Pariyojana 


Why in the news?
Objectives of the Initiative
What are generic medicines?
What are generic medicines?
What is Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Pariyojana  ?
Performance of the scheme
What are the issues with the Scheme?
What steps can be taken to resolve the issues existing in the scheme?
Way forward

Why in the news?
Recently, New Delhi: The Union Ministers of Health and Railways together flagged off the Jan Aushadhi train.

Objectives of the Initiatives
The train has been wrapped with the branding of the Jan Aushadhi Scheme and will travel to 4 states. Its primary objective is to spread awareness about the Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Pariyojana which promotes the use of generic medicines, available at more than 9000 Jan Aushadhi Kendras. 

What are generic medicines?
Generic medicines are non-branded and non-marketed drugs. They are considered equally effective against a particular illness. The advantage of generic medicines is that they are inexpensive and affordable for use by poor sections. The high prices of drugs often dissuade these sections from taking proper medication. The medicines available under the scheme are priced 50%-90% less than that branded prices.

What is Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Pariyojana?
The scheme was launched by the Department of Pharmaceuticals with Central Pharma PSUs to provide quality medicines at low prices. Under the scheme, several dedicated outlets ‘PM Jan Aushadi Kendras’ have been opened as one-stop destinations to procure required medicines.
The Government intends to increase the number of Janaushadhi Kendras to 10,000 by the end of the year. The product basket includes 1759 drugs and 280 surgical instruments.

Objectives of the Scheme

The objectives of the scheme are:
Access: Ensure access to quality medicines at affordable prices.
Awareness: Create awareness through education and publicity and dispel notions about quality and efficacy.
Employment: Generate employment by engaging individuals to open Jan Aushadhi Kendras.

Performance of the scheme
The scheme has achieved tremendous growth and success in the last 8 years by providing quality medicines at cheaper costs to the people of India. This initiative has not only cut down the out-of-pocket expenditure of the poor sections but has also increased savings. The savings of more than Rs. 20000 crores is a significant achievement and shows that PMBJP has been able to make a positive impact on the lives of people by providing affordable healthcare. 

What are the issues with the Scheme?
Despite the ambitious goal of providing affordable and quality medicines the scheme, it is also fraught with challenges, which are as follows:

  • Improper Inventory Management: The inventory is not updated and there is an unavailability of medicines. This forces the patients to purchase the branded medicines by shelling out a large sum of money. This defeats the purpose of the scheme.
  • Lack of quality control and monitoring: The medicines available at the stores are not of proper quality and standards. There is a need to check quality standards. 
  • Location of Jan Aushadhi Kendras: The Stores are not situated in the vicinity of a government hospital. The patients are discouraged to travel to long distances. 
  • Issue of Quality perception: The patients have a notion that inexpensive medicines that do not possess adequate efficacy. This perception of quality dissuades them to not purchase the medicines at the Jan AUshadhi Kendras. The low prices of the medicines create the perception that the product is not of ‘standard quality’.
  • Inadequate Supply Chain Management: The demand for medicines and their supply is not in synchronisation. There is a need to streamline the process to ensure a shameless working of the scheme.

What steps can be taken to resolve the issues existing in the scheme?
The following steps can be taken to solve the issues existing in the scheme:

  • Proper inventory management: There is a need to align the demand and supply with proper inventory management. 
  • Ensure proper quality control: The quality of the medicines needs improvement with regular quality checks and inspections. The perception regarding the low efficacy of medicines in comparison 
  • Opening accessible Stores: The location of stores should be planned considering the nearness of hospitals. They must also be opened in areas with a poor population.
  • Incentives for doctors: Doctors play a key role in prescribing medicines. They must be incentivized to prescribe generic medicines in place of branded medicines. 
  • Integration with healthcare schemes: The scheme can be aligned with other schemes like Ayushmaan Bharat etc. This has the potential to widen the coverage and the targeted beneficiaries.

Way Forward
Overall, the success of Jan Aushadhi Pariyojana is a testament to the power of innovative ideas and effective implementation. It has brought about a significant positive change in the healthcare sector of India by providing affordable and quality medicines to people. This initiative has helped in reducing the financial burden of healthcare expenses and has made essential medicines accessible to all sections of society. It is essential that the government continues to support and promote initiatives like PMBJP, which have the potential to bring about positive change in the lives of millions of people.





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