India to celebrate 7 March as ‘Janaushadhi Diwas’

• Mansukh Mandaviya, the Union Minister of State for Chemicals & Fertilizers, Road Transport & Highways, and Shipping on March 6, 2019 announced March 7, 2019 will be observed as the ‘Janaushadhi Diwas’ across the country.

• On the occasion of the ‘Janaushadhi Diwas’, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi will interact with owners of Janaushadhi Kendras and beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) across the country through video conference.

• Various programmes would be organised at all PMBJP Kendras to increase the awareness about the scheme. These programmes would witness participation of doctors, health experts, NGOs and beneficiaries.

Objective
• The Janaushadhi Diwas aims to provide further impetus and create awareness about the use of generic medicines. The day also highlights the initiatives undertaken by Government in the direction of making quality healthcare affordable for all, like Ayushman Bharat, PMBJP, etc.

• The Government launched the Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana to make affordable and quality generic medicines popular among the people. The Government aims to have atleast 1 PMBJP Kendra in each block of the country by 2020.

Present status of Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana

• About 10-15 lakh people benefit from Janaushadhi medicines per day and the market share of generic medicines has grown over three fold from 2 percent to 7 percent in last 3 years.

• The Janaushadhi medicines have played a big role in bringing down the out of pocket expenditure of patients suffering from life threatening diseases in India.

• The PMBJP scheme has led to total savings of approximately Rs 1000 crores for common citizens, as these medicines are cheaper by 50 percent to 90 percent of average market price.

• The PMBJP is also providing a good source of self-employment with self-sustainable earnings as the average sales per store per month has grown to Rs 1.50 lakhs as per a survey conducted by the BPPI, which implements the scheme.

• Four big warehouses have been opened in Delhi, Guwahati, Bengaluru, and Chennai so as to ensure adequate availability of Janaushadhi medicines at all PMBJP kendras.

• A wide range of affordable quality health products have already been launched under the PMBJP Scheme including Oxo-Biodegradable Sanitary Napkins at Rs. 2.50 per piece; Jan Aushahi Swabhiman at Rs. 140 for a pack of 5 Adult Diapers; Jan Aushahdi Bachpan at Rs 20 only for a pack of 5 baby diapers; Jan Aushadhi Ankur pregnancy test kits at Rs 20, among others.

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Mains Paper 2: Governance

Prelims level: Janaushadhi Diwas’

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