The central government proposes to soon open 1,000 more stores under the 'Jan Aushadhi' scheme in order to make available quality generic medicines at affordable prices through special outlets.
Speaking at a function organised by the Indian Social Responsibility Network (ISRN), a facilitation network to build the corporate social responsibility (CSR) space in India, at New Delhi, Hansraj G. Ahir, union minister of state in the ministry of chemicals and fertilisers, said these stores will be opened for the underprivileged who would be provided medicines at a prices 60-70 per cent lower than the market price.
The minister said his ministry is working on opening these 1,000 stores on a single day, adding that the stores will be renamed, rebranded and will increasingly involve B Pharma and M Pharma qualified unemployed youth.
The two-day workshop, organised by the Indian Social Responsibility Network (ISRN) to build the corporate social responsibility (CSR) space in India, focused on `Capacity Building Programme on NGO Management' to help voluntary organisations (VOs) strengthen in areas such as record management, financial management and programme documentation.
A separate session was dedicated to help voluntary organisations to improve their practices on greater transparency and accountability in terms of improving their chances to garner CSR as well as government funds to sustain their activities.
The programme was attended by more than 50 participants from 15 states, representing more than 60 voluntary organisations. Sessions were orgranised on topics relating to project planning and proposal, record and financial management.
Over the years, India has developed a strong capability in producing quality branded and generic medicines in most of the therapeutic categories, evolving from an mere Rs1,500 crore industry in 1980 to a more than Rs1,19,000 crore industry in 2012.
Although these medicines are reasonably priced compared to the prices of their patented equivalents in most other countries, a large number of poor in the country find it difficult to afford the more expensive branded category of medicines. Accordingly, 'ensuring availability of quality medicines at affordable prices to all' has been a key objective of the government.