Mansukh Mandaviya

The Indian government plans to establish 10,000 Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendras (PMBJKs) by March, aimed at enhancing public access to generic medicines. Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya informed the Lok Sabha about this initiative, which aims to promote affordable healthcare for the common man.

To encourage the use of generic medicines, the Indian Medical Council’s regulations state that physicians must prescribe drugs with generic names legibly, preferably in capital letters. Additionally, the Directorate General of Health Services has directed all Centre-run hospitals, CGHS doctors, and wellness centres to prescribe only generic medicines.

Under the National Health Mission’s free drug initiative, essential generic drugs are provided free of cost in public health facilities. To further support the PMBJK scheme, the Department of Pharmaceuticals and the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Bureau of India (PMBI) collaborate with state and UT governments and district administrations to raise awareness and provide rent-free spaces for opening Janaushadhi Kendras in healthcare centres.

Ensuring the quality of medicines, the CDSCO and Ministry of Health have implemented various regulatory measures. The Drugs and Cosmetics Act was amended to impose strict penalties for manufacturing spurious and adulterated drugs, with certain offences made cognisable and non-bailable. Special courts have been set up by states and UTs for speedy trial of such offences.

Also Read | Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya: “The world seeks our medicines and vaccines; let’s leverage our brand power and manpower”

To guarantee the efficacy of drugs, the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules were amended, making it mandatory for applicants to submit results of bioequivalence studies and evidence of stability and safety of excipients before granting manufacturing licenses.

The CDSCO plays a pivotal role in coordinating activities with State Drug Control Organisations and providing expert advice through Drugs Consultative Committee meetings, aimed at ensuring uniformity in administering the Drugs and Cosmetics Act.


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