JAS is a direct market intervention scheme of the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers, Government of India. It was launched in 2008 with an aim to make available quality generic medicines at affordable prices to all the citizens (particularly the poor and disadvantaged) through dedicated sales outlets which will be opened in each district of all the States/UTs.
Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India (BPPI) is the implementing agency of the scheme. BPPI was established under the Department of Pharmaceuticals with support of all the Pharma PSUs for coordinating procurement, supply and marketing of generic medicines through Jan Aushadhi stores.
Generic medicines are unbranded medicines which are identical to branded medicines in terms of quality, safety, efficacy and therapeutic value. Besides, the prices of generic medicines are much cheaper than their branded equivalents.
BPPI ensures the quality, safety and efficacy of medicines by procuring each batch of medicines both from Pharma PSUs as well as reputed private suppliers. On arrival of the medicines at the warehouses, BPPI draws samples and sends them to NABL accredited laboratories for inspection. Only after receiving equal certifications from these laboratories, medicines shall be supplied to the C&F agents and distributors.
There are currently around 1000 medicines and 154 surgical and consumables in the product basket of Jan Aushadhi scheme. A comprehensive list of medicines and their corresponding prices can be accessed at http://janaushadhi.gov.in/data/MRP_March17.pdf.
There are currently more than 1609 Jan Aushadhi store outlets spread over 31 States/UTs. A list of the different stores and their address can be found at http://janaushadhi.gov.in/jan_aushadhi_stores.html.
Any individual can buy over-the-counter (OTC) medicines without a prescription from these stores. However, for buying scheduled drugs, a prescription from a registered medical practitioner is necessary. The stores are open from 9 am to 9 pm.
Under the scheme, State governments are required to provide free space in hospitals or other suitable locations for running these medical stores. These stores may also be opened by any government agency in any government building owned by government bodies. Besides, any NGOs, Charitable Society, Institutions, SHGs, Individual Entrepreneurs, pharmacists and doctors can open these stores outside the hospital premises.
The requirements for applicants are as follows: • Applicants need to own or hire space (min. 120 sq. feet) duly supported by lease agreement. • Sale license from competent authority (Retail drug license in the name of the applicant and/or Tin No) • Proof of securing a pharmacist with computer knowledge along with name and registration with the State council • Individual applicants (excluding doctors/medical practitioners) need to compulsorily have B.Pharma and D.Pharma Degrees. • Organizations need to have at least 3 years of working experience in welfare activities and should employ B.Pharma and D.Pharma degree holders in the stores. Detailed guidelines can be viewed at http://janaushadhi.gov.in/guidelines.html.
The benefits available for Jan Aushadhi store owners are as follows: • Trade margin of 20% is included in the MRP of each drug for operating agencies. • Store owners are allowed 2% of total sales or actual (whichever is lower) as compensation against expiry of medicines. • Free space for running stores is provided in hospital premises or any other government building owned by government bodies. • One-time assistance of Rs. 2.5 lakhs is provided as furnishing, establishment and start-up costs which also include Rs. 1 lakh by way of free medicines. • Stores opened outside hospital premises by individuals and organization will receive incentive up to Rs. 2.5 lakhs @ 15 % of monthly sales amount, subject to a ceiling of Rs. 10,000 per month. In case of stores in North-Eastern states and Tribal/Naxal affected areas, incentive is @ of 15% subject to a ceiling of Rs. 15,000 pm up to total limit of Rs. 2.5 lakhs. Applicants from weaker sections such as SC/ST/differently-abled are provided medicines worth Rs. 50,000 in advance with similar incentives of up to Rs. 2.5 lakhs @ 15% subject to a ceiling of Rs. 10,000 pm. [irp]