People in India’s rural areas often lack quality medicines at reasonable prices. To provide such a facility, the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Government of India, launched Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) (previously known as Jan Aushadhi Scheme) in 2008. Still, the government revised it in 2015 for strengthening its supply after the NDA government came to power.
It aims to make people aware that high rates don’t necessarily mean high-quality generic medicines (unbranded medicines secured and have efficacy when it comes to therapeutic value). NABL (National Accreditation Board Laboratories) accredited laboratories test the drugs acquired under this scheme for quality assurance.
Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India (BPPI) manages the scheme and its execution process throughout the country. They endorse the CPSUs to oversee the sales, marketing, supply and acquisition of the generic medicines, which are then provided to healthcare seekers through Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendras. More than 6000 PMBJP stores offer generic drugs at a lower price for affordability and efficacy purposes.
The government launched Jan Aushadhi Sugam Mobile Application to assist people in reaching the nearest centre. Only 0.325 million people are using the app to benefit from affordable generic medicines. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Jan Aushadhi Kendras-associated Swatha Ke Siphai (Pharmacists) have been making drugs available to elders at their doorsteps.
As 726 districts of the country avail of Jan Aushadhi Kendras, the turnover reached approximately ₹600 crores during 2020-21. Now, the number of Kendras stands at 7500. The PMBJ has 1,449 medicines and 204 surgical items, which had 131 products in 2014.
On making it available to the poorest of the poor, PM Modi said, “At Jan Aushadhi Centres which come under ‘Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Yojana’, medicines are available at 50 per cent to 90 per cent cheaper than branded drugs available in the market. This is making healthcare affordable and encouraging ‘Ease of Living.”
“Janaushadhi Yojana is becoming a big friend of poor and middle-class families. It is becoming the medium of both service and employment. There were not even 100 centres in India six years ago and we hope to achieve the target of 10,000 centres. Poor and middle-class families are saving about ₹3,600 crores every year on expensive medicines,” PM Modi added.
Government grants of up to 2.5 Lakhs are provided for the setting up of PMBJKs. Pharmacists, Doctors, Entrepreneurs, Self Help Groups, NGOs, Charitable Societies, etc., can establish PMBJKs at any particular place or outside the hospital premises. There is the availability of government grants of up to 2.5 lakhs for establishing such Kendras across the country.
Following are the requirements for setting up PMBJK
- One should have a self-owned or leased shop with a space of 120 sq ft and above, including the availability of all legal documents.
- One needs to state the name of the pharmacist enrolled with the state council.
- If the applicant is from the SC/ST category or differently-abled, they need to present the required certificates as evidence.
The official address of the concerned department while applying online for PMBJK
Bureau of Pharma Public Sector Undertakings of India (BPPI),
8th Floor Videocon Tower, Block E1, Jhandewalan Extension, New Delhi – 110055 Tel – 011-49431800