Bihar puts onus for opening generic drugs stores in hospitals on central agency

Almost two years on, only three Bihar government-run medical college hospitals - two in Patna and one at Bhagalpur — have generic stores on their campuses.

Updated: Sep 05, 2018 15:04:23

By Ruchir Kumar

The Centre had in 2008 launched ‘Jan Aushadhi’ project for sale of generic drugs through exclusive outlets (Photo used for representational purpose) (HT File Photo )

The Bihar government has put the onus for opening generic drugs stores in its hospitals on the HLL Lifecare Limited, formerly known as the Hindustan Latex Limited, a public sector undertaking of the Central government.

The Centre had advised states to earmark land on its hospital campuses to open affordable and reliable generic drugs stores under the Prime Minister’s ambitious Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP).

Almost two years on, only three state government-run medical college hospitals — the Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS), Nalanda Medical College Hospital (NMCH), both in Patna, and the Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College Hospital at Bhagalpur — have generic stores on their campuses.

No other state government-run health facility has such stores on its campus, even as there are nine medical colleges, six super-specialty hospitals and 36 district hospitals where generic drugs stores are proposed to be set up.

The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Patna, which comes under the Central sector, however, has one such store.

“In keeping with the Centre’s advisory, we had advised most of our medical colleges and hospitals to earmark space on their campuses for a generic drugs store. We had simultaneously also requested the HLL, a central government agency, to open these stores in our hospitals. However, the HLL has yet not heeded our request,” said principal secretary, health, Sanjay Kumar.

“We have sent three reminders so far, the last being on August 30. We are awaiting the HLL’s response,” he added.

Another senior health functionary said the department had asked all hospitals three months back to identify land for this purpose and most had responded positively to it.

Efforts by HT reporter to contact HLL representative Rajesh Ramachandran for comments proved futile. He did not respond to HT’s repeated calls and text message on his cellphone. Subrat Bose, marketing manager, eastern region, who looks after the stores at AIIMS-Patna and IGIMS, said it was not his mandate to open generic drugs stores.

The Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana Kendra (PMBJPK) is a campaign launched by the department of pharmaceuticals, government of India, to provide quality medicines at affordable prices to the masses through special kendras, known as Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendra. These have been set up to provide generic drugs, which are available at lesser prices but are equivalent in quality and efficacy as expensive branded drugs.

The Centre had in 2008 launched ‘Jan Aushadhi’, a project for sale of generic drugs through exclusive outlets call the ‘Jan Aushadhi medical store’. In September 2015, the ‘Jan Aushadhi scheme’ was revamped as ‘Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Yojana’ (PMJAY). To give further impetus to the scheme, it was again renamed as ‘Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana’ in November 2016.

First Published: Sep 05, 2018 15:04:23


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