CAN anyone believe that these days some allopathic drugs sold under a brand name are labeled with MRPs as high as 5 times the genuine price of the drug? Can anyone believe that not only that there are cases where the same company or associate companies market the same allopathic drug under a branded drug name (Amlopres 5) through one of its divisions and under a branded generic drug category (say Amlip 5) through its another division where in one case the selling retailer has margin of say 15 to 20% on MRP and in the case of branded generic margin is as high as 80 to 85% ? Yes it is very much true. And this practice is prevalent because the sellers manage doctors worth writing prescriptions not by chemical name or generic name but by a brand name even for the drugs that have single chemical formulation and may be falling in the national list of essential drugs (348 in number. or so) that could cover 90 to 95 % of the general patients / ailments and are free from any patent rights.
Imagine how much the patients may be fleeced and over charged where the manufacturers are selling drugs under brand names mixing some other drugs with the basic drug.
Therefore there is utmost need for the government to lay tough hand on such criminal onslaught being made on the common man. It was for this purpose that Sh. Ram Vilas Paswan as minister for Industries and Chemicals had in 2008 conceived the Jan Aushadi Store programmefor selling atleast the drugs covered in the essential list of drugs and free from patent rights by Chemical name / Generic Name at fairly labelled MRP. First such store was opened in November 2008 in Amritsar. But even in 8 years after 2008 may be only about 260 or so Jan Aushadi stores in whole of India could be opened. In J&K it is claimed that 11 Jan Aushadi stores are functional (1.Srinagar IRCS Lal Chowk 2. Leh SNM Hospital. Anantnag MMAB hospital .4 District Hospital Udhampur.5 Reasi District Hospital .6 Doda District Hospital 7. District Hospital Pulwama .8 Kargil District Hospital9. GMC Jammu. 10. SMGS Hospital, Jammu. 11 Ramban District Hospital). But even in J&K very few people know about these stores and these stores where ever functional are said to have very less clients.
Question is why this so common man friendly programme has failed? Simple answer is that (i) the drug manufacturers, sellers, prescription writers, non-serious government enforcement agencies have directly or indirectly worked to defeat the Jan Aushadi Programme and (ii) more so even majority of doctors do not prescribe by generic name or chemical name or less lucrative brand names. The state govt can take lead by immediately ordering all doctors to write prescriptions by generic name as far as possible and the combination drugs be prescribed only in very specific cases.
Even a few Jan Aushadi Stores Opened , so far, do not have customers inspite of there being available drugs at 1/5th of prices since most of the doctor do not prescribe by generic name or by those brands where the MRP is some what genuinely marked. To quote very few doctors prescribe by generic name Amlodipine 5mg ( Jan Aushadi MRP 10 Tab Rs.3.24 ) or even Amodep-5mg (14 Tab @ 12.60 INR) or Amvasc -5 (Parental drugs India ltd 10 Tab Rs.10.40)where as may prescribe Amtas-5 ( Intas Pharma Ltd 15 Tab Rs.48.69 ) , Amlip-5 ( Cipla Ltd 10 Tab.Rs.31.25 ) Amlopres- 5 ( Cipla Ltd 15 Tab Rs.49.10). Amlogard-5 (Pfizer 30Tab Rs.98.31) .
Jan Aushadi Store programme is not to make available to patients allopathic drugs at low prices or cheap rates but to provide medicines at fair prices. Hence the first and foremost requirement for promoting this programme was to order the doctors to prescribe medicines by chemical generic name. But the government has yet to issue instructions to that end.
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