HYDERABAD: With an intent to offer affordable medicines, the Union ministry of chemicals and fertilizers has embarked on a project to re-launch its Jan Aushadi programme in the next six months.
The intiative, which will be re-introduced under a new name, will mandate all publich health officials to prescribe only unbranded generics falling under the scheme.
‘’It’s (Jan Aushadi) a good initiative but has not been properly implemented. We are working on re-launching the programme under a new name,” said Sudhansh Panth, Union joint secretary in the department of pharmaceuticals.
Addressing a gathering at the BioAsia 2015 CEO Conclave held at ISB on Tuesday, he said, the idea was to make available quality generic medicines at affordable prices.
As part of the scheme, the government will identify a comprehensive list of essential medicines including pain killers, antibiotics and life-saving drugs. These medicines will be procured by the government from pharmaceutical companies at a price prescribed under the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA).
Similarly, the government is also working to identify and bring medical devices under the national list of essential devices. “Currently, only 22 medical devices are subject to price monitoring, of which only two devices are under price control. The government is working to identify if some of the devices can be brought under the national list,” said Panth adding that the Drugs & Cosmetics Act, which covers medical devices, was also being amended.
Bringing medical devices under the essential list will help deliver healthcare at affordable prices.
Meanwhile, encouraging pharma companies to follow ethical marketing practices, a Uniform Code of Pharmaceutical Marketing Practices has been finalized after inputs from various stakeholders. “Currently, it’s being practiced voluntarily and we would like to review it in May-June,” he said.
The code of conduct came into effect on January 1 and prevents pharma companies from doling out freebies to doctors in return for prescribing medicines.