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5,440 JAKs functional in India: Ashwini Kumar Choubey

Sharing a state-wise breakup in the upper house, Minister of State (MoS) Ashwini Kumar Choubey said that the price of an unbranded generic version of a medicine is generally lower than the price of a corresponding branded medicine

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A total of 5,440 dedicated retail outlets selling affordable generic medicines are functional in India under Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP), as on 15th July, 2019, Minister of State (Health and Family Welfare), Ashwini Kumar Choubey informed in the Rajya Sabha recently.

Sharing a state-wise breakup in the upper house, he said, “There is no definition of generic or branded medicines under the Drugs & Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Rules, 1945 made thereunder. However, generic medicines are generally those which contain same amount of same active ingredient(s) in same dosage form and are intended to be administered by the same route of administration as that of branded medicine.

” Further, drugs manufactured in the country, irrespective of whether they are generic or branded, are required to comply with the same standards as prescribed in the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Rules, 1945 made thereunder for their quality. As such they are expected to have similar effects,” he added.

Choubey also mentioned that the price of an unbranded generic version of a medicine is generally lower than the price of a corresponding branded medicine because in case of generic version, the pharmaceutical company does not have to spend money on promotion of its brand. The sale of a generic version is incentivised by a pharmaceutical company by keeping a high trade margin for wholesalers and retailers.

The MoS also said, “The Medical Council of India (MCI) has notified an amendment in Clause 1.5 of Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulations, 2002 vide notification dated 21.09.2016, which stipulates that ‘Every physician should prescribe drugs with generic names legibly and preferably in capital letters and he/she shall ensure that there is a rational prescription and use of drugs’. MCI has further issued a circular on 21.04.2017 vide which all the Registered Medical Practitioners under the Indian Medical Council (IMC) Act have been directed to comply with the aforesaid provisions.”

According to the data shared by Choubey in the parliament, the number of Jan Aushadhi Kendras (JAKs as per 15th July, 2019 in the states are as follows:

  • Andaman & Nicobar – 02
  • Andhra Pradesh – 181
  • Arunachal Pradesh – 24
  • Assam – 79
  • Bihar – 155
  • Chandigarh – 05
  • Chhattisgarh – 206
  • Dadar & Nagar Haveli – 14
  • Daman & Diu – 04
  • Delhi – 96
  • Goa – 08
  • Gujarat – 494
  • Haryana – 160
  • Himachal Pradesh – 57
  • Jammu and Kashmir – 56
  • Jharkhand – 54
  • Karnataka – 524
  • Kerala – 465
  • Lakshadweep – 0
  • Madhya Pradesh – 145
  • Maharashtra – 358
  • Manipur – 35
  • Meghalaya – 01
  • Mizoram – 19
  • Nagaland – 15
  • Odisha – 174
  • Puducherry – 14
  • Punjab – 164
  • Rajasthan – 127
  • Sikkim – 02
  • Tamil Nadu – 539
  • Telangana – 117
  • Tripura – 24
  • Uttar Pradesh – 840
  • Uttarakhand – 176
  • West Bengal – 106

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