Mangaluru, Sep 16, 2016: The much awaited and expected ‘Jana Sanjivini’ outlets — generic drug stores of the State government — have begun operations in the city. While one store is located next to the casualty block at Government Wenlock Hospital, the other is at the entrance to Government Lady Goschen Hospital. While generic drugs are being sold at a discount of 50 per cent on the market rate, branded drugs are being offered at a discount of 10 per cent.
The two outlets have been functioning for over a fortnight now after being formally inaugurated by Health Minister Ramesh Kumar on August 23.
The State government has signed a memorandum of understanding with HLL Lifecare Ltd., a government enterprise, for running the Jan Sanjivini stores. They have also been asked to provide surgical implants at discounted rates for patients. Oscar Fernandes, former MP, had laid the foundation stone for the store near Wenlock Hospital on March 7, 2015. Subsequently, a proposal was made to set up another generic store at Lady Goschen Hosptial, a maternity hospital about 800 metres away. The then Health Minister U.T. Khader had said that the generic stores would be in operation in four months.
A considerable amount of time was taken for the construction of the two outlets. According to sources, there were objections by the Mangaluru City Corporation over the absence of a setback, and HLL took time to set it right. It also took time in getting a licence for selling drugs. As of now, the outlets are selling only generic and branded drugs. They are yet to start offering surgical implants.
Despite the lack of publicity about their inauguration, a good number of patients have been coming to the two stores for purchase of drugs in the past 15 days. “There is lack of knowledge about generic drugs. There is also a complex about purchasing these drugs sold at lower rates. We have been answering lot of queries and selling them at subsidised rates,” said the chief pharmacist at the store near Wenlock Hospital.
For instance, a branded drug for constipation is sold at Rs. 105, while the generic drug is available for Rs. 39. A strip of 20 capsules of B-Complex, with the brand name ‘Becosules’, is sold at Rs. 25, while the same drug with the generic name ‘B-complex’ is available at Rs. 15 a strip. The chief pharmacist at the Lady Goschen store said there has been good demand for generic drugs from patients with diabetes and blood pressure.