- ‘Jan Aushadhi’ scheme, 2008 was an appreciable attempt to (i) revive pharma PSUs and (ii) provide government-subsidised low-priced quality generic medicines particularly to the vulnerable sections.
- The scheme is under direct control of the Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP) of the Government of India (GoI). The implementation agency is the “Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India” (BPPI). BPPI consists of DoP plus 5 pharma CPSUs – IDPL, HAL, BCPL, KAPL and RDPL with it’s headquarter at IDPL head office at Gurgaon. BPPI was registered under ‘Societies’ Act in 2010 as a public sector entity.
- The Jan Aushadhi scheme envisaged the 5 drug CPSUs to produce all Jan Aushadhi medicines without any marketing and distribution responsibility.
- BPPI’s responsibilities include procurement, fix prices and establishment Jan Aushadhi Stores (JAS) network to supply and monitor sale of BPPI medicines.
- The scheme is fully funded by the GoI; allotted Rs.35 crore 2016-17 and Rs.42 crore in 2020-21 for Jan Aushadhi scheme.
- GoI at its cost has established central warehouses for BPPI in Gurgaon; in Tamilnadu and also planned to set up other regional warehouses.
- BPPI sends tested medicines from its warehouse through its distribution network of appointed C&F Agents / Distributors in different States / UTs.
- BPPI ultimately sales government-subsidised low-priced Jan Aushadhi’ medicines through Jan Aushadhi Stores (JAS), appointed as franchisees of BPPI.
- Earlier, JAS got free space in government hospitals. Later GoI extended it in any building premises like railways, state road transport, urban local bodies, panchayat institutions, post offices, defence establishments and PSUs.
- In addition, each JAS gets Rs.2.5 lakh financial support from BPPI as cost of initial establishment expenses including Rs.1 lakh free ‘Jan Aushadhi’ medicines; 30 days credit facilities (C&F and distributors 60 days). C&F gets full and distributor 2% of sale as compensation against expired medicines. Expired medicines are not called back.
Privatisation of Pharma CPSUs and Jan Aushadhi Scheme
- Modi government declared to sell all 5 Pharma CPSUs in BPPI making the name itself a joke. On 28 December, 2016, Modi ministry directed the DoP to first sell surplus land of HAL, IDPL, RDPL and BCPL to meet the liabilities; and then go for strategic sale of HAL and BCPL. IDPL and RDPL were already closed.
- The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) in its meeting held on 1.11.2017 had also decided to disinvest 100% GoI equity in KAPL. The other two Pharma CPSUs – Bengal Immunity and Smith Stanistreet – were declared as closed.
- Modi Government, through BPPI, appointed M/s. Ethics Infinity Pvt. Ltd. “for providing End to End supply chain management” to Jan Aushadhi Stores.
- In January, 2017, GoI and National Yuva Cooperative Society (NYCS) of RSS entered into an agreement to set up 1,000 JASs across the country.
- Thus, today, from original Jan Aushadhi Scheme revival of pharma CPSUs to produce all Jan Aushadhi medicines has been given up. Further, heavily government-subsidised Jan Aushadhis are procured from 140 private sector companies; distributed through a single private entity and sold through favoured private outlets doing business at government’s cost.
Saffronisation of Jan Aushadhi Scheme
- ‘Jan Aushadhi’ scheme was renamed by Modi government first in 2015 as “Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Yojna” (PM-JAY). In 2016 it was renamed it as “Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana” (PM-BJP) and the Jan Aushadhi Stores as “PM-BJP Kendras.”
- Each pack of Jan Aushadhi medicines is having a new brand as “Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana” (PM-BJP) embossed, ‘BJP’ highlighted in saffron in Hindi.
Adapted from: Facebook posting by JS Majumdar on The Jan Aushadhi Scheme.