Kerala Generics Scheme

The state government of Kerala is all set to launch Kerala Generics Scheme in place of Jan Aushadhi scheme. Although the core and crux of the scheme remains the same with minor differences between the two, the state has decided to replace Jan Aushadhi scheme with Generics scheme. As per this new scheme as well you will receive generic medicine for free.

Already the state government officials have begun the work of finding out the number of people afflicted and 600 Jan Aushadhi stores have already been opened in the state.

Why is this new scheme in place?

Questioning the fact that there are already so many stores in place under the original scheme, one wonders why this new scheme was put in place. Some people of political parties are of the view that it is a purely political step. However, the government has clarified that they have taken this new scheme out because of a very specific problem. Apparently, the generic medicines too are required by the individuals besides the branded stores.

Hence, one would not just find branded medicines but also generic medicines now alongside as per this new scheme.

Basically when the government official was contacted about this issue, they stated the following reasons for carrying out this new scheme –

  • The central government recently amended the Indian Medical Council Regulations 2002. Now the doctors will have to prescribe generic medicines.
  • Doctors will have to prescribe these medicines because it’s a rule now. As a result the demand for these medicines will rise in the market.
  • Hence, the people will naturally be more inclined towards purchasing the generic medicines if they are prescribed now.
  • So when people turn up at the pharmacies of Jan Aushadhi o get their medicines, they should have a supply o the generic medicines too.
  • This will not only help the people but will also help the pharmacies to fulfill their needs. Hence, initially they will be sold on the pharmacies dedicated to the central scheme. Later on these medicines will be sold in a separate counter.

A quick glance at the scheme so far

  • The Jan Aushadhi scheme had been launched in the year 2008 and since then the scheme has not seen any drastic results. In fact it has not even been able to achieve its targeted result in these few years.
  • The government official, Mr. Arun Jaitley had claimed last year in the budget that 3000 stores will be opened under this scheme. However, by the end of the year only 500 stores were opened.
  • In Kerala, in so many years, 600 retail outlets have been opened that are solely dedicated with the cause. The main idea was to make these medicines more accessible to people.

Hence we can see that the progress in this aspect has not been as it was expected by the officials in the beginning.

How well has the new scheme been received?

The traders who used to work with the Jan Aushadhi scheme (JAS) seem very un-delighted with this new rendition. They claim that due to the center and state differences in opinion, the state is unwilling to carry out the scheme in its original shape.

They have also pointed out the fact that the Karunya Community Pharmacies or KCPs were stared with the aim of providing branded drugs in discounted rates. This was to ensure that even the poor were able to buy the branded drugs.  The generic version, on the other hand, was never supposed to sell via the branded drug stores. However this new Generics scheme is implementing the same which will ensure that the KCPs are at a loss.

Some also believe that due to the center and state differences the new scheme has been launched so that the Aushadhi scheme receives a major blockage. Hence, we can see that this new scheme is not well received by the opposition party or the KCPs. It only remains to be seen how the general public are benefitted by it.

Current pharmaceutical scenario

  • At present there are 54 KCPs located in 14 districts of the state. The government aims to open 600 new KCPs by the end of 2017.
  • Many of the KCPs have expressed an interest to be converted to selling only Generic medicine as per the new scheme. Hence, the government is planning to cancel their KCP stature and put them up as a counter for the generic medicine under the state scheme.
  • There are 130 JAS outlets currently operating in the state and 30 more have been built and are ready to be inaugurated in January 2017.
  • Similarly, approval was given to 140 more such outlets across the state so that more and more JAS and Generic Scheme outlets can be opened up. Work is underway to open and inaugurate these outlets.

If all goes well, Kerala can be the sole state to fulfill the objective of providing quality generic medicine to the state residents by the end of 2017.

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