Keep separate shelf for generic medicines, govt to medical stores

The central government has directed pharmacies to display generic medicines conspicuously on separate shelves so that consumers can opt for low-cost alternatives to expensive branded drugs

Keep separate shelf for generic medicines, govt to medical stores
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The government has been promoting generic drugs for a while now and its efforts gained momentum with Prime Minister Narendra Modi announcing plans to put in place a legal framework in April last year to ensure doctors prescribe generic medicines

Now, the Drug Comptroller General has issued a letter to all states and union territories to provide a shelf for display of generic medicines.

The Drugs Technical Advisory Board (DTAB) “agreed to keep a separate rack/shelf reserved solely for the storage of generic medicines in a part of the premises separated from other medicines, which shall be visible to consumers”, as stated in the minutes of a DTAB meeting held on February 12.

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Jagannath Shinde, President of All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD), said, “We welcome the decision taken by the Drug Controler General Of India. We had a meeting with the Drug Controler General Of India on June 03. We suggested the government that instead of opening the generic medicine store, the chemist are willing to keep the generic medicines in the shop. On this, the government has issued this order.”

YP Yajurvedi Rao, President, Society for Awareness of Civil Rights, stated, “Generic medicine shops are under the Prime Minister Jan Aushadhi Scheme. Now, the drug controller has issued an order to keep a separate shelf for generic medicines. But, the question is with the space crunch, how chemists can create a separate shelf?”

In order to reduce medical expenditure and make drugs more cost affordable the government is promoting generic medicines. The government had launched the Jan Aushadhi Scheme in 2015 to sell generic drugs at an affordable rate at affordable prices in Jan Aushadhi Stores (JAS). There are around 3,500 Jan Aushadhi Stores across the country.