NEW DELHI: The revamped Jan Aushadhi scheme has hit a speedbreaker with most generic drug stores in Delhi complaining of lack of supply of medicines. “My store is only six months old and we haven’t got any stock since the first week of October. Even daily medicines like those for high blood pressure or diabetes are not available. This has been a persistent problem,” Anita, owner of the Jan Aushadhi Kendra in Palam, said.
She claimed that the distributor often refused to supply even those medicines that were available. Of around 630 medicines and 130 surgical items that the government has listed for sale in these outlets, Anita’s store had less than 200.
Drugs to all Jan Aushadhi Kendras in the capital are distributed by Sanch Enterprises. When contacted, an official of the firm refused direct comment. “You’d know what the problem is. Why are you asking me? Why don’t you ask the Bureau of Pharma Public Sector?” he said.
The story is the same at an outlet in East Delhi. Its owner, who did not wish to be named, said there was an acute problem with supply of medicines. “Even medicines like paracetamol are not available. We have to turn away customers. The supply is very erratic. I had placed an order for Rs 2 lakh but got medicines worth only Rs 2,000,” she said, adding her store had only 250 of the 760 items listed by the government.
It’s the common people who pay the price for this state of affairs. Most are not even aware of the scheme. Venkatesh, a Tamil Nadu migrant who works in a south Delhi market, said as much. “I am uneducated. Whenever I am sick, I visit the doctor and buy medicine from a nearby chemist. Some medicines have very high prices. Had I known of this scheme, I would have definitely bought medicines from generic stores. Financially, it would be of great help to me,” he said.