Bharatiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (BJP) will increase the number of medicines supplied via its outlets to 738 in the next two months, minister Sadananda Gowda said.
At present, the scheme has only been able to source and supply only 713 medicines out of a targeted 900 due to a lack of interest among suppliers.
Bharatiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana, also known as Prime Minister’s Bharatiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana or PMBJP, is an effort by the current BJP government to ensure the cost-effective availability of generic medicines to ordinary people.
The scheme is implemented by Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India (BPPI), an independent society under the control of Department of Pharmaceuticals, Government of India.
The BPPI, which acts as the supplier of articles to the distributors and retailers covered by the scheme, has a policy of sourcing as many of the medicines from public sector companies, and the remaining from private players.
Besides 900 medicines, the BJP covers 154 other items, including items such as gloves, syringes and so on. Out of these, only 53 items have so far been able to be distributed via the outlets, Gowda said.
Thanks to recent bidding rounds, the number of medicines available at BJP stories will rise to 738 in the next two months, the minister added.
Similarly, the number of surgical and consumable items too will rise to 143 as purchase orders have already been issued for them after recent bids.
The bids are issued under an e-tendering process.
The Bharatiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana scheme works with BPPI society acting as the supplier to a layer of distributors and retailers beneath it.
As is the case with opening any medical or chemist’s store, anyone can apply to set up a BJP outlet as long as he or she has signed on the services of a registered pharmacist.
Besides getting drugs at cheap rates, BJP outlets also get a monthly incentive of Rs 10,000 for 25 months, or a total of Rs 2.5 lakh.
The scheme also promises a 20% margin for the retailer and 10% for the distributor.
A total of 5,395 BJP outlets have been opened so far, with Uttar Pradesh seeing the maximum uptake with 837 outlets, followed by Tamil Nadu (533) and Karnataka (518).
Gujarat, with 492 BJP outlets, and Kerala, with 465 retailers, are at No.4 and No.5.
Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab, West Bengal and Telangana are among the big states that have less than 200 outlets so far.
The central government has spent close to Rs 15 cr on the scheme as of March 2019.