Government plans to open Jan Aushadhi stores at 1,000 railway stations
Plans are afoot to open Jan Aushadhi stores at around 1,000 major railway stations across India as part of drive to make quality medicines available at low cost to the public, government said today.
Plans are also on to open such outlets at bus stands in different states with an aim to take the network to small towns and villages. Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister Ananth Kumar said efforts are being made to ensure prescription of generic medicines by doctors for the benefit of patients. "I am going to speak to Railways Minister Suresh Prahbu in the coming days to open Jan Aushadhi stores (JAS) in 1,000 main railway stations in the country," Kumar told.
When asked about making prescription of generic medicines by doctors mandatory, he said the Medical Council of India has already issued a circular to doctors.
While the health ministry has also asked central government hospitals to make prescription of generic drugs mandatory. All the state governments have also been sent advisories regarding the same, he added. On whether the government is bringing a legal framework for compulsory prescription of generic medicines, Kumar said at present the Drugs & Cosmetics Act prevents pharmacies to give equivalent of generic medicine and whatever is prescribe has to be given. "A substitute cannot be given therefore we are going to bring in amendments in the Drugs & Cosmetics Act," he said.