The Karnataka State Registered Pharmacists Association (KSRPA) has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi informing about the sale of branded generic medicines from the Jan Aushadhi stores instead of pure generic medicines. It has also raised concerns such as dispensing of medicines without a registered pharmacist, providing substitutes to schedule H drugs etc.
The medicines sold from the Jan Aushadhi stores should have the scheme’s logo on the pack of the product, which distinguishes it from other branded generic products.
Ashokswamy Heroor, President, Karnataka State Registered Pharmacists Association, informed, “Presently, there are around 6825 Jan Aushadhi stores across the country. In Karnataka, we have a total of 667 Jan Aushadhi stores. In the recent past, we have noticed that a majority of these stores are selling branded generics instead of those medicines procured by the Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India, which gives them nearly 80-90 profit margin against the generic medicines of up to 10 per cent profit margin.”
“Jan Aushadhi stores are allowed to provide a substitute to Schedule H drugs, whereas, under Rule 65 (11-A), other pharmacy stores are strictly not allowed to give substitutes. But, it is important to note that in many instances the Jan Aushadhi stores do not have a registered pharmacist, which may lead to adverse events and instead of helping the society it will have an adverse effect. Therefore, we have raised these issues to the PM along with other respective authorities.”
Explaining the scenario in Karnataka, he said that in most of the Jan Aushadhi stores, drugs are being sold in the absence of a registered pharmacist. The basic reason for this major lapse is that licences are being granted to non-pharmacists, who appoint a namesake registered pharmacist and get the permission to open these stores. In order to avoid this and to safeguard public health, we strongly suggest that Jan Aushadhi licences should be granted to only those firms where the proprietor or the managing partner is a registered pharmacist. Then only it will serve the purpose and go a long way in preserving public health and resolving the problems related to the employment of registered pharmacists.”