The Disease Management Association of India (DMAI) wants the government to scrap the Jan Aushadhi Scheme that was launched by the government in April, 2008 with great expectations. The Association feels that as the scheme is not achieving the goal for which it was launched its only imperative that this scheme should be scrapped and the huge investment made for it should be directed for other worthwhile causes.
This recommendation was made to Dr Murli Manohar Joshi, chairman, Public Accounts Committee (PAC) by Rajendra Pratap Gupta, president and director, DMAI at a meeting that was held on February 9 in Delhi. Expressing anguish over the manner in which the whole system is run he urged that the government should take some corrective steps to cover-up the glitches in the whole process.
In his recommendation to the planning commission on the changes needed in NRHM for the 12th five year plan, he suggested that if the government wants the Jan Aushadhi scheme to work smoothly it needs to frame an action plan that will help in executing the whole process more aptly. It was observed that, under the current system there is a need for some radical operational changes.
He remarked, “This whole system runs on bureaucracy with the only intention being to make money. There are evidences that support the claim that they are misusing the public money in the name of public service. So far the scheme has proven to be a failure unlike what had been said about it.”
Gupta pointed out that after visiting various centres across the country it was discovered that the quality of medicines that was sold under the Jan Aushadhi Scheme was of horrible standards.
He said, “Even though the Jan Aushadhi programme is a very good concept it never was able to deliver the desired results. This scheme is poorly planned and badly executed with low quality drugs being supplied at the outlets putting public safety in danger. How can we let this continue after knowing what actually is happening.”
The Jan Aushadhi under ministry of chemicals & fertilizers was initiated by Department of Pharmaceuticals to provide quality generic medicines at lower prices than the branded drugs available in the market. However there have been reports about the functioning and realiablity of this scheme. The Association is hopeful that the planning commission will take required action and stop further syphoning off public funds in the name of providing medicines at low cost to the common man.