The Jan Aushadhi Campaign For Ensuring Access to quality Medicines and Health Care for all

It is well known that due to market led consumer awareness and availability, branded medicines are sold by drug manufacturers at higher prices than their unbranded generic equivalents, which are as good in therapeutic value.Therefore, if generic medicines are made more accessible and available in the market, everyone would benefit.

Seizing this opportunity, the Pharma Advisory Forum in its meeting held on 23rd April, 2008 under the Chairmanship of Shri Ram Vilas Paswan, Hon’ble Union Minister of Chemicals & Fertilizers and Steel, Decided to launch a Jan Aushadhi Campaign. A key initiative under the campaign would involve opening of Jan Aushadhi stores where, unbranded quality generic medicines would be sold which are available at lower prices, but are equivalent in potency to branded expensive drugs.

Accordingly, a Task Force of senior officers of the Department of Pharmaceuticals, CEOs of Pharma CPSUs, representatives of Pharma industry, NGOs/charitable organizations, State Governments, and most importantly doctors from reputed national level institutions like AIIMS, Maulana Azad Medical College and RML Hospital was constituted to implement the objective of making available affordable medicines for all. Senior representatives of WHO were also invited to the deliberations. The Task Force held extensive discussions and unanimously decided to launch a Jan Aushadhi campaign starting with sale of generic medicines through dedicated sale outlets in various districts of the country. The program was envisaged to be launched, in associations with the Central Pharma Public Sector Undertakings (CPSU) as part of their Corporate Social Responsibilities agenda. The roles of various other stake holders, including the state governments were defined for implementing the scheme in a campaign mode.

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