BENGALURU:Taking concrete steps to provide medicines at reasonable prices for the poor, the state government will open a chain of ‘Janasanjeevini’ generic drug stores all over the state. It will begin by opening stores at K C General, Bowring and Victoria Hospital in Bengaluru in January.
Health and Family Welfare Minister U T Khader told reporters here on Tuesday that over 30 Janasanjeevini stores will be opened with an objective of having at least one such store in each of the 30 districts.
These generic drug stores will sell medicines at reduced prices compared to private medical stores. Hindustan Lifecare Limited (HLL), with which the state government has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) six months ago, will set up the generic drug stores on behalf of the government.
Describing Janasanjeevini as a model for the entire country, Khader said Karnataka was forced to design its own model in view of the issues involved in implementing the Jan Aushadhi programme launched by the Union government.
“While 361 generic drugs can be procured under Jan Aushadhi, as many as 748 drugs are available under Janasanjeevini. The state government did not find the Centre’s model feasible, as drugs for critical illnesses including cancer are not available at a lower cost,” he said.
In the Janasanjeevini model, if patients are unsure about the quality of drugs, they can get it tested at the drug testing laboratories in Bengaluru, Hubballi and Ballari, through the state Drug Control Department.
Only drugs manufactured by well-known companies will be sold here to ensure quality, said Khader.
Ombudsman to Monitor Pvt Hospitals
To questions about the high cost of medical services in private hospitals and complaints of negligence against these hospitals, Khader said the state government had no power to control private medical hospitals.
“There are limitations under the present Karnataka Private Medical Establishments (KPME) Act,” he said. The government is considering to bring a bill in the budget session to amend the Act, he added.
“As part of the proposed amendment, the government is planning to set up a Health Service ombudsman and discussions are on. Noted scientist Dr Kasturirangan, who is also the chairperson of Karnataka Knowledge Commission, has also assured to help the government in this regard,” he said.