Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said that the Janaushadhi scheme, under which the government provides quality medicines at affordable rates, has led to savings worth around Rs 1,000 crore for common people.
To ensure availability of high quality medicines at lower prices, the government has taken two major steps. Firstly, the cost of 850 essential medicines were regulated and prices of heart stent and equipment for knee surgery were reduced, the prime minister said.
As the second step, a series of Janaushadhi Kendras were set up throughout the country. These steps have greatly benefitted not only the poor, but also the middle class, he added.
Through the Janaushadhi scheme only, lakhs of families have made a saving of around Rs 1,000 crore and this is when it has not been advertised. It is just the beginning, PM Modi said.
He was interacting with beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) and store owners through video conferencing.
"The medicines at Janaushadhi Kendras are available at 50-90 per cent lower price than market rates," PM Modi said.
Over 5,000 Janaushadhi Kendras have been opened in the past four-and-a-half years providing not only good quality medicines but also providing self-employment and create new employment opportunities, he added.
The prime minister said December 7 will be observed as ''Janaushadhi Diwas'' to create awareness and providing impetus to the use of generic medicines.
Emphasising that the government is working for the transformation of the healthcare sector, PM Modi said, "We are working for a holistic transformation in the health sector and hence our approach is no silos only solutions."
All stake holders related to health sector are working together to transform the sector. In the past four-and-a-half years, 15 new AIIMS have been either built or are being built and 31,000 MBBS and post-graduation seats in medical sector have been added, he said.