New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will interact with owners of Janaushadhi Kendras and beneficiaries of the scheme through a video conference at 1:00 PM on Thursday.

For creating awareness about use of generic medicines, March 7 will be celebrated as Janaushadhi Diwas (People’s Medicine Day) across the country today.

The Prime Minister will interact with owners of Janaushadhi Kendras and beneficiaries of the scheme across the country through video conference at 1:00 PM.

As part of the celebrations of Janaushadhi Diwas, programmes will be organised at all Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) Kendras to increase awareness about the scheme. These programmes will witness participation of doctors, health experts, NGOs and beneficiaries, which is expected to help in spreading awareness about the scheme among the people.

The PMBJP provides a good source of self-employment with self-sustainable and regular earnings. Average sales per store per month has grown to Rs 1.50 lakh (including OTC and other products) as per a survey conducted by the BPPI, which implements the scheme.

Four big warehouses Delhi, Guwahati, Bengaluru, Chennai have been opened so as to ensure adequate availability of Janaushadhi medicines at all PMBJP Kendras.

According to Mansukh Mandaviya, Union minister of state for chemicals and fertilizers, road transport and highways, shipping, with the initiative of the Prime Minister in the direction of making quality healthcare affordable for all, the government has taken important steps to make affordable and quality generic medicines popular among the people through the PMBJP.

Mandaviya added that, with this pace of progress, all blocks in the country would have at least one PMBJP Kendra by 2020.

Citing the Prime Minister’s vision that no poor person should die due to non-availability of good quality affordable medicines in the country, Mandaviya said that, with developments like more and more doctors prescribing generic medicines and opening of over 5050 Janaushadhi stores across 652 districts, awareness and availability of high-quality, affordable generic medicines has increased in the country.

About 10-15 lakh people benefit from Janaushadhi medicines per day and the market share of generic medicines has grown over three fold from 2% to 7%in last 3 years, the minister added.

Health is one of the most important parts of development and this government, the minister said, has been incessantly working to ensure quality healthcare affordable for all, through schemes like Ayushman Bharat, PMBJP among others.

The Janaushadhi medicines have played a big role in bringing down the out of pocket expenditure of patients suffering from life threatening diseases in India. The PMBJP scheme has led to total savings of approximately Rs.1000 crore for common citizens, as these medicines are cheaper by 50% to 90% of average market price.