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“The poor must have access to affordable medicines; the poor must not lose their lives because of lack of medicines” – PM Narendra Modi
Access to quality medicines at affordable prices has been a major objective of the government and proactive measures have been taken to ensure the same. 105 AMRIT outlets have been opened across the country and are providing cancer and cardio-vascular drugs, as well as cardiac implants at very affordable prices. More than 42 lakh patients have benefitted, saving over Rs. 200 crores.
The government plans to take affordable medicines to each block within the country through the Jan Aushadhi scheme. In November, 2016, to give further impetus to the scheme, it was revamped as “Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana” (PMBJP). With a change in name, the scheme which aims at providing quality generic medicines in place of the branded expensive ones (for e.g. 10 tablets of Amlodipine 5 mg cost Rs. 3.25 as compared to Rs. 20.00 for the branded version) also got a much-needed boost.
Several remedial measures have been taken to breathe new life into the scheme:
PM Narendra Modi’s vision to provide affordable, quality healthcare has inspired the government to make health security for all its priority. The cap on the prices of stents and knee implants was another leap towards fulfilling that vision. In order to further improve the accessibility of cheaper medicines, the Ministry of Railways has been brought on board to open Janaushadhi Kendras in more than 1000 railway stations across the country. The unfairness of a patient missing out on treatment because of a lack of affordable treatment has been tackled head on with the development of the healthcare sector in such an integrated manner. The various initiatives undertaken by the Government have ushered in a “silent revolution” towards achieving health security for all.