Interacting with owners of Janaushadhi Kendras (JAKs) and beneficiaries, Prime Minister Narendra Modi enquired about the quality, accessibility and affordability of drugs being provided at these centres
By Prathiba Raju and Akanki Sharma
Observing the Janaushadhi Diwas on March 7, Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with the beneficiaries and shop owners of Janaushadhi Kendras (JAK) via video conferencing across the country. He interacted with people in four cities– Bikaner, Rajasthan; Surat, Gujarat; Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh and New Delhi. In his address, he put an emphasis on the quality and affordability of the medicines provided at the Janaushadhi Kendras.
Modi first interacted with Karnik Singh Rathore from Bikaner, whose son is diagnosed with brain defect since birth, who is taking medicines worth Rs 10,000 per month. But, the same medicines are available for Rs 1200 at the JAK located in the city.
A senior citizen from Suart, Kishore Shah suffering from diabetes, blood pressure and cholesterol, told during the interaction that his medicines that earlier cost Rs 2000 every month, are now accessible to him at Rs 700 per month.
“I’ve diabetes and cholesterol and thus have to take regular medicines. I purchased medicines from outside at Rs 2000 but now at Janaushadhi store, I get it at Rs 700,” he said.
Continuing the conference with beneficiaries in Delhi, Modi spoke to a beneficiary who told him that he had a heart problem and used to get medicines for Rs 5000 to 6000, which now cost him Rs 600 only.
Sharing similar views, Abdul Gaffar from Lucknow informed that he visits JAK regularly. He mentioned that medicines are available at affordable price. With a salary of Rs 3000 for a month, getting medicines for heart related ailments are not a burden anymore.
The Prime Minister also mentioned that JAKs have also become a source of jobs for many.
Agreeing with him, Vinay Shukla, a JAK owner from Lucknow, informed that nearly 250 to 300 patients visit the centre every day. The kendra is a good source of sustainable self employment as it gives regular earnings.
Janaushadhi medicines have played a big role in bringing down the out-of-pocket expenditure for patients suffering from life-threatening diseases in India. The Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) scheme has led to total savings of approximately Rs 1,000 crores for common citizens, as these medicines are cheaper by 50 per cent to 90 per cent of the average market price.
According to Ministry of State for Chemicals and Fertilizers, over 5,050 Janaushadhi stores are functional across 652 districts in the country. About 10-15 lakh people benefit from Janaushadhi medicines per day and the market share of generic medicines has grown over three folds from two per cent to seven per cent during the last three years.