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Jan Aushadi Stores: Lack of awareness killing the idea of ‘low cost’ generic drugs

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KASHMIR NEWS TRUST #KNT

Directorate of Health Services Kashmir has miserably failed to create awareness about the benefits of ‘Jan Aushadi’ Centres among the common masses of Valley.

Medicines are kept available at these centres at the lowest reasonable rates, however, due to a lack of awareness, the poor and people from middle-income group purchase medicines from the open market instead of visiting these centres.

Sources told news agency Kashmir News Trust that Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Kendra, an ambitious project to provide affordable generic medicines to poor people has so far failed to take off in Kashmir Valley.

‘Not only there is a lack of awareness among people about these stores, but they are also ill-stocked,” said a chemist from South Kashmir’s Pulwama district.

There are scores of Jan Aushadhi stores for poor people but these stores don’t have enough supply of generic drugs. “Poor people are bound to get branded drugs from the open market when they find these stores short of supply. Besides, people don’t have much knowledge about these stores,” said another chemist.

Insiders at Health Department said that there is a separate allocation of funds that the officials are supposed to spend on publicity, but so far no such publicity and awareness about these stores were created.

This news agency talked to many people who believe that low price is synonymous with low-quality drugs and vice versa. “There is a lack of awareness about the quality of drugs available at these stores. The reality is that drugs available at these stores are of high quality and people need to be made aware of this fact,” the chemist said adding that people don’t trust low-cost drugs and believe that better quality is ensured only if the medicines are costly.

He said they make a poor sale on daily basis and it serves no purpose.

Another chemist said that there are poor sales and people don’t visit these stores because doctors usually don’t prescribe generic drugs. [KNT]

 

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