Health Policy

Govt plans to drop private firms off Jan Aushadhi project

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The move is against a Parliamentary panel’s recommendations that supported the inclusion of private sector in the almost-defunct Jan Aushadhi project.

New Delhi: The Government of India’s Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP) is mulling to shelve its earlier plan to source medicines from the private drug companies for its 121-odd Jan Aushadhi stores.

The move is against a Parliamentary panel’s recommendations that supported the inclusion of private sector in the almost-defunct Jan Aushadhi project.

Jan Aushadhi stores were hit hard by the shortage of medicines as the five PSUs were not able to meet the demand for the generic drugs drug units for these stores.

“Inclusion of private sector drug companies to source medicines for the Jan Aushadhi stores is not under the immediate consideration of the department at present,” a senior DoP official said.

The committee had recommended that the DoP should take credible initiatives towards settling the problems of supply, distribution and production chains and implementing the integrated business plan in a time-bound manner.

Ever since the DoP launched the ambitious Jan Aushadhi project on November 25, 2008 to ensure quality medicines to the poor people at affordable prices, it was hit hard by the shortage of medicines.

Later, the DoP toyed with the idea of sourcing medicines from private companies to make available the drugs in adequate quantity. In fact, the DoP had invited expression of interest from the companies in December 2008 and as many as 76 firms including some major companies had responded to it.

But later the DoP developed cold feet and finally dropped the idea of sourcing medicines from private companies on the plea that the expressions of interest were found to be not meeting all requisite criteria.

Under the Jan Aushadhi project it was proposed to open one Jan Aushadhi store in each district of the country.

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