Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
Jan Aushadhi to facilitate buying 504 low cost generic medicines from July
The union government will obtain medicines in bulk, from both public and private drug manufacturing companies, covering some 504 essential medicines, and launch its own Jan Aushadhi brand that would sell these low-cost generic medicines
 
The Indian pharmaceutical market, which has a turnover in excess of Rs87,000 crore annually, is dominated by branded medicines, which our doctors prefer to prescribe. It has been found that generic medicines, as against the branded product, are definitely cheaper and effective for use by  patients. But, shops selling these generic equivalents of the brands are few and far between. Indian formulations for supplies to overseas drug makers have been going on for decades and export is a money spinner for these companies in India.
 
Therefore, one of the most gratifying news, in recent times, is the government announcement in regard to the launch of Jan Aushadhi with effect from 1 July 2015. From the press release, it is clear that the government intends to obtain medicines in bulk, from both public and private drug manufacturing companies, covering some 504 essential medicines, and launch its own Jan Aushadhi brand to sell low cost generic medicines.  
 
This will facilitate aam aadmi being able to buy quality medicines at cheap prices from chemists and druggists who should be specifically asked for ‘Jan Aushadhi’ brand!  This introduction will initially cover Delhi through 800 selected chemists and cover essential medicines that will include antibiotics, painkillers and vitamins. Besides these, medicines used for treatment in cardiovascular, respiratory, diabetes and gastroenterology diseases will also be covered.
 
The Bureau of Pharma Public sector understandings of India (BPPI), the nodal agency under the Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP) for implementing this project, it is reported in the press, has already floated the tender seeking applications for supply of medicines for the programme. This proposal has been vetted by the Medical Council of India (MCI) and Indian Medical Association (IMA) is expected to ensure that doctors invariably prescribe Jan Aushadhi branded medications.  It would soon follow that all the government hospitals may have to mandatorily prescribe Jan Aushadhi branded medicines, where available.
 
This is a good start in the right direction. It is imperative that simultaneous efforts are made to introduce this on a national scale and bring all the States under the scheme.  It would help matters if introduction is made to all the Metros and a strict timeframe set so as to focus and bring about the Jan Aushadhi availability in all these places. May be the Ministry of Health in each State must be given the task of launching the scheme in their respective states.
 
All Drugs and Chemists who sell medications must also display details of the availability of Jan Aushadhi brand drugs. Not only should the retail price be shown on the package, the government must consider whether it is mandatory for the manufacturing source of the medicine should be included. If there is a senior citizen's discount applicable, this should also be shown clearly. 
 
(AK Ramdas has worked with the Engineering Export Promotion Council of the ministry of commerce. He was also associated with various committees of the Council. His international career took him to places like Beirut, Kuwait and Dubai at a time when these were small trading outposts; and later to the US.)

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Rahul says asked Natarajan only to protect environment, tribals

Rahul Gandhi also alleged that Natrajan, who quit the Congress recently, has been put up by PM Modi and his government to target the Congress party

 

Breaking his silence over Jayanthi Natarajan's allegations against him over green clearances, Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said his communication with the former minister was driven by his interest for the welfare of the poor and the adivasis.
 
"I want to tell you that I have fought for the poor and the adivasis and I had told Jayanthi Natarajan that we should look into the welfare of the environment, poor and the adivasis. I will continue to fight for the poor, the hutsmen and the weaker sections," the Congress vice-president said at a rally here.
 
He alleged that Natarajan, who quit the Congress recently, has been put up by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government to target the Congress party.
 
Rahul said that he joined politics to ensure welfare for the poor and the weaker sections of the society and not to benefit some businessmen as he attacked Modi, alleging that the PM was working only to benefit his "industrial friends".
 
Natarajan had last Saturday resigned from the primary membership of Congress alleging that she was "vilified" for rejecting green nod to industrial projects during her tenure as Environment Minister, which she said she had done following communications by the Congress vice-president.
 
She had also written a letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi a few months back alleging that she had received specific requests from Rahul on environmental clearances and consequently rejected big ticket projects, a contention she reaffirmed at the time of announcing her resignation.
 
Latching on to her remarks, BJP had launched a scathing attack on the Congress leadership accusing Rahul of interfering in the government work.
 

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Maharashtra plans to revamp ‘blood-on-call’, ambulance scheme

According to Health Minister Sawant the response for these schemes was not up to the government’s expectations and now they intend to strengthen the network of blood storage units in rural areas

 

Maharashtra Government is planning to revamp its blood-on-call scheme called as ‘Jeevan Amrut Yojana’ that is aimed at facilitating blood supply to patients scheduled to undergo surgeries and medical procedures in remote areas. In addition, the state government is also reviewing the 108 ambulance service scheme, launched by the previous government.
 
The Jeevan Amrut Yojana was launched last year, under which patients have to pay Rs450 towards the cost of blood and Rs50 to Rs100 as transportation cost depending on the distance, and request (for blood) is placed by the hospital concerned.
 
Upon receiving the call, the required blood and blood components will be transported on motorcycle to hospitals and nursing homes, in the specially fitted cold storage boxes.
 
The ambitious plan was said to be first-of-its-kind in the country.
 
Maharashtra Health Minister Dr Deepak Sawant said the response for the scheme has not been on lines of government’s expectations and now they intend to strengthen the network of blood storage units in rural areas.
 
“Instead of transporting blood through motorcycles, we intend to strengthen network of blood storage units in rural areas. Accordingly, there should be one unit in the periphery of four primary health care centres. This would be more feasible,” he added.
 
The minister also said the 108 ambulance service scheme, launched by the previous government is also being reviewed.
 
The ambulance service was to facilitate transport of a patient to the nearest hospital within the first ‘golden’ hour of an emergency or a road accident, by dialling 108.
 
Sawant said there are 937 ambulances under the scheme, which has worked well.
 
“However, we plan to ensure its utilisation in areas where it is needed,” he said.
 
Sawant said his department has taken up the initiative of tracking pregnant women in tribal areas to ensure institutional deliveries in order to arrest maternal mortality deaths.
 
“Women will be counselled for safe deliveries. Last year in Amravati region, 300 pregnant women died,” he said.
 

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