Calling on doctors, health workers and ASHAs to promote the use of generic drugs, Union Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilizers Bhagwanth Khuba said on Friday that the drugs significantly reduce the cost drugs for people.
Speaking at Janaushadhi Mitra Sammelan, Mr. Khuba said that 145 generic drugs are available at Janaushadi Kendras and these drugs are sold at a cost less than 70% to 90% of the cost of brand name drugs. “By making generic drugs available at an affordable price, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has helped people save on drugs to a great extent,” he said.
Citing an example, Mr Khuba said that the brand name drug Atorvastatin, which is prescribed to lower cholesterol, costs 12 per pill, while the same drug is available at 0.98 paise at a generic pharmacy.
The Union Minister of State urged the government and private doctors to prescribe more generic drugs. He said that Anganwadi workers and ANMs should educate doctors and the population about generic drugs. He also called on the operators of Janaushadhi kendra to carry out activities to raise awareness about the availability of medicines for hypertension, diabetes and chronic diseases, which are regularly consumed by many people.
During the interaction with Mr. Khuba, some of the representatives of the 82 Jananushadhi Kendra in Dakshina Kannada pointed out the poor quality of some of the drugs provided. Another Kendra operator raised the issue of getting Suvidha sanitary napkins for the price of 1, for which there is good demand. A doctor, who has a Janaushadhi Kendra near his hospital in Puttur, expressed the need for more essential drugs in the kendras.
Khuba said the ministry was taking action to address issues related to the quality and supply of medicines. “It’s an ongoing process and we are responding to your concerns. We sincerely believe in making quality essential medicines available to the population, ”he said. Changes are being made to the Janushadhi Sugam app to give people a clear idea of the drugs available in the kendras, he said.
MP Nalin Kumar Kateel and MP for Mangaluru City South D. Vedavyas Kamath spoke.
Mr. Khubha and Mr. Kateel presented the Janaushadhi Prabhuddi Prize to the Udupi District Administration, the district being the first among Karnataka districts in terms of sales of generic drugs. The two men also presented Janaushadhi Mitra Awards to seven people, including three doctors, for the promotion of Janaushadhi Kendras.