Taking a leaf out of Prime Minister’s Jan Aushadhi (national scheme to set up stores, vending generic medicines) initiative, Maharashtra has become the first state in the country to set up about 600 medicine stores at State Transport (ST) depots across the state. The decision will resolve the scarcity of essential medicines in distant parts of the state and provide cheaper variants of the medicine for the underprivileged population, officials confirmed.
The memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between the public health, transport departments of Maharashtra and Bereau of Pharma PSUS of India (BPPI) at Mantralaya last week in the presence of chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. Diwakar Rawte, the state transport minister said that the decision was a result of the stat- level implementation of the national scheme.
Generic medicines are drugs which are not manufactured by leading pharmaceutical companies and lack popularity in the market. Numerous medical reports have, however, established that due to similar properties in manufacturing process, the effectiveness of the medicines remain the same.
Health officials have identified about 361 different kinds of drugs based on overall sale and then narrowed down on the medicines produced using these drugs. Officials added that the generic medicines are available at 40% lesser cost than their popular branded variants. “These 361 drugs cover nearly all therapeutic categories and are used for treatment of gastronomical diseases, diabetes, respiratory and cardiovascular disorders. Over a period of time, more medicines will be added to the list,” said the official.
State transport minister Diwakar Raote said that the move has made Maharashtra the first public transport department in the country to set up generic medicine stores in its periphery. “All the major ST stands will have the stores which will enable the village population to not run to cities merely for medicines,” said Raote.