Over 1,000 stores selling generic medicines will be opened across India in June this year, when the Narendra Modi-led government launches the scheme to provide affordable medicines, said Hansraj Ahir, Union Minister of State for Chemicals & Fertilizers on Monday.
“We are planning to launch in June. Over 1000 stores will be opened in the first month. We have a target of opening 3,000 generic medicine shops during this year,” said Ahir who was here to attend a workshop on Good Manufacturing Practices for the Indian Pharmaceutical manufacturers and state regulators.
“The government is also planning to rope in both the private sector and public sector units to help in providing uninterrupted supply of generic medicines to these new stores,” Ahir said adding that the government will start off with 504 medicines and then scale it over 670 medicines.
According to the minister, the government is ensuring that the new generic stores will be handed over to unemployed youths who have either a diploma or a graduation in pharmacy. “We will ensure that these stores are run by unemployed youths and they sell only generic drugs,” Ahir said adding that the first set of stores will be opened at district-level public hospitals and medical colleges.
Apart from generic medicine shops, the government is also looking to revive sick pharma central Public Sector Units (PSUs). “The revival of these PSUs will be done through a self-financing model,” said Sudhansh Pant, joint secretary, Department of Pharmaceuticals. “A portion of the land holdings held by these PSUs will be sold off and the money generated will be used to finance these units. This will thus not require any budgetary support or financial assistance from the government,” Pant added.
The government will be using this self-financing model to revive sick drug manufacturing units like Indian Drugs Pharmaceuticals Ltd (IDPL), Hindustan Antibiotics and Bengal Chemicals.
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