India will make this a new element in its development partnership, EAM S Jaishankar said recently
On February 24, 2023 the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers jointly organized an interactive session on the Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) programme in New Delhi. During the interactive session, which was attended by Heads of Missions from nearly 100 partner countries in the Global South, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar offered support to partner countries to help them establish and implement public-centric schemes similar to PMBJP in their countries. "Joined my ministerial colleague @mansukhmandviya and his team in meeting diplomats of 91 countries today in the Conference on Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana," EAM Jaishankar tweeted after the event. "Explained the powerful impact of this scheme on Affordability, Accessibility and Availability of medicines to the general public. Shared these experiences and discussed how this can be applied in other countries. MEA will make it a new element in its development partnership," he added. WHAT IS THE ‘PRADHAN MANTRI BHARTIYA JANAUSHADHI PARIYOJANA’ (PMBJP)? The PMBJP scheme is a flagship program of the Indian government which aims to provide quality and affordable medicines to the public. It has the following key features: Affordable Medicines: The scheme provides quality generic medicines at affordable prices to the public. The medicines provided under the scheme are available at a much lower price than their branded counterparts. Availability: The medicines are made available through over 9,000 Jan Aushadhi Kendras (centres) across the country. These centres are operated by the Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India (BPPI) which is a not-for-profit organization under the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers. Wide Range of Medicines: The scheme offers a wide range of generic medicines covering all therapeutic categories. Nearly 1759 generic medicines are available under the PMBJP scheme. Additionally, 280 surgical equipment and consumables are also covered by this scheme. Quality Medicines: The medicines provided under the scheme are of high quality and have been approved by the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI). These are tested and certified by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL). The medicines are manufactured by reputed pharmaceutical companies which have been selected through a rigorous process. High-Level Monitoring: The scheme is monitored by a high-level committee comprising experts from the pharmaceutical industry, academia, and civil society. The committee ensures that the medicines provided under the scheme meet the highest quality standards. More Accessible: The scheme is expanding its reach by opening more Jan Aushadhi stores in remote and rural areas. The government has said it is committed to providing access to affordable medicines to all sections of the society. Incentives for Entrepreneurs: The government is offering incentives to entrepreneurs to establish Jan Aushadhi stores. This has encouraged the private sector to participate in the scheme and has helped in expanding its reach. Easy Availability: The scheme ensures easy availability of medicines by collaborating with hospitals, NGOs, and state governments. This has helped in improving access to medicines in remote and underserved areas. Health Awareness Programs: Under the PMBJP scheme, health awareness programs are also conducted to educate people about the benefits of using generic medicines. Saving on Healthcare Costs: By providing affordable medicines, the scheme helps families save on their healthcare expenses, especially for chronic diseases. This has helped in reducing the burden of healthcare costs on families. Overall, the Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) scheme has made a significant impact on the affordability, accessibility, and availability of medicines to the public. With the government's commitment to expanding the reach of the scheme, it has the potential to provide healthcare to millions of people in the country. The government's willingness to share its experiences and support other countries to implement similar schemes reflects its commitment to global health equity.