Jan Aushadhi shops can replace branded drugs with generics

On Thursday, the Drugs Technical Advisory Board cleared a proposal to amend a rule under the drugs law. “This proposal asking permission for chemists to substitute brands prescribed by doctors with other brands was pending for a very long time.

Sushmi Dey | TNN
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NEW DELHI: To promote low-cost generic medicines, the government’s top drug regulatory board has allowed Jan Aushadhi Kendras — which are like fair price shops for medicines under the Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana — to substitute doctor’s prescription with a generic brand.

On Thursday, the Drugs Technical Advisory Board cleared a proposal to amend a rule under the drugs law. “This proposal asking permission for chemists to substitute brands prescribed by doctors with other brands was pending for a very long time. For the time being, we have allowed only Jan Aushadhi stores to do so because we want to watch it on a trial basis,” an official said. So far, chemists were legally not allowed to replace the brand or the medicine prescribed by a doctor.

The official said allowing all retailers to substitute medicine brands may open up the market to corruption as chemists may push brands with higher margin. The move is also likely to promote Jan Aushadhi stores which have failed to take off as well as intended in the last few years. At present, there are over 4,000 Jan Aushadhi stores.

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