11 April, New Delhi
Steps are being taken by the Centre to spread awareness about the use of generic drugs as well to increase access to them, said Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilizers Mansukh L. Mandaviya.
Giving a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha today, Mandaviya informed the House that in order to promote the use of quality generic drugs in the country and to make them available at affordable prices, a nation-wide campaign has been started.
In order to spread awareness about the use of generic drugs in the country, BPPI has initiated publicity campaigns around PMBJP Kendras through hoardings, bulk SMS, mobile exhibitions, distribution of pamphlets, etc. for spreading awareness about the scheme and its objective of providing affordable and quality generic medicines. Also, a 15 days Radio/FM campaign was also launched in various States of the country.
Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India (BPPI), the implementing agency of PMBJP, has released advertisements in various newspapers in the country during December 2016 inviting applications from private individuals for opening of PMBJP Kendras. The response has been overwhelmingly encouraging and as on 05.04.2017, 28,301 applications have been received out of which in-principle approval has been given to 24,049 applications.
Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) have been signed with various State Government/Organisations/NGOs to promote opening of PMBJP Kendras across the country.
The scheme guidelines have been amended to enable opening of PMBJP Kendras in various government owned buildings like Municipalities/Panchayati Raj Institutions/Post Offices, etc. and incentivizing of weaker sections to participate in the scheme.
The PMBJP scheme provides more than 600 medicines and 154 surgicals and consumables at affordable prices in all therapeutic categories such as anti-infectives, anti-diabetics, cardiovasculars, anti-cancers, gastro-intestinal medicines, etc. For impeccable quality assurance, each batch of drug supply to PMBJP Kendras is tested at National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) accredited laboratories empanelled by the BPPI.
The Minister also stated that public health being a state subject, the primary responsibility of supply of medicines, including lifesaving medicines free of cost to the patients in public/government healthcare centres primarily lies with the state/UT governments.
Under the National Health Mission(NHM), support is provided to the States/UTs for strengthening their healthcare delivery system including for provision of free essential drugs to those who access public health facilities, based on the requirement posed by the States/UTs in their Programme Implementation Plans.